March 23, 2010

Lions score two in the ninth to salvage split with Northwest Missouri

Maryville, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern Lions snapped a 4-4 tie with two runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 6-4 in the second game of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon (Mar. 23) in Maryville, Mo.  The Lions dropped the opener 6-5 to the Bearcats.

Caldwell started the ninth with a lead-off walk and was at second with two outs when Joe Lincoln delivered a go-ahead, two-run homer to right center that put the Lions up 6-4.

Garrett Groom was in a two-on, one out jam but worked out of it by striking out Luke McCrary and enticing a fly out by Bryce McCrary to end the threat and finish off the complete game victory.

The Lions found themselves down early in the opener as Brandon Kirsch sparked a three-run first with a two-run homer.

Michael Zurmehly made it a one-run game by smacking his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot that scored Jacob Taylor.

An RBI single by Skyler Rawlins in the third tied the game and Shayne Hoke then put the Lions on top with an RBI single in the fifth inning.

The Bearcats scored in the bottom of the seventh to again tie the score on an RBI single by McCrary.  McCrary then represented the go-ahead run at third with two out before Groom got Nick Pfeiffer to fly out to CJ Matthews.

Groom settled in after the first inning and finished with nine strikeouts and walked none.

The Lions (8-15, 6-10 MIAA) lost the opener in heartbreaking fashion as they trailed 5-3 after four innings but battled back to tie the score with a run in the fifth and sixth innings.

Caldwell led off the fifth with a double and later scored on an RBI single by Lincoln that made it a one-run game.

The Lions then plated an unearned tally in the sixth inning that evened the score at 5-5.

But Kirsch produced the eventual winning run for the Bearcats (4-19, 2-18 MIAA) by leading off the bottom of the sixth with his second homer of the game and third of the doubleheader.

Chris Green sat the Lions down in order in the seventh to complete the victory for the Bearcats.

Green lasted the full seven innings with four earned runs allowed and four strikeouts.

Kirsch also hit a grand slam in the Bearcats four-run third to drive in five of the Bearcats six runs.

The Lions will finish the four-game set with the Bearcats with another doubleheader tomorrow (Mar. 24) beginning at noon. 

The Lions were slated to play at Drury on Thursday afternoon (Mar. 25), but the game has been cancelled due to the weather-related changes with the series at Northwest Missouri.