Lions rally again from eight down to finish off sweep of Drury Panthers

Joplin, Mo. -- For the second time in their last three games, the Missouri Southern Lions have rallied back from an eight-run deficit, this time in the second game of a doubleheader with the Drury Panthers Tuesday evening (Apr. 6) at Joe Becker Stadium.  The Lions came back to win the nightcap 9-8 after winning the first game over the Panthers 9-3.

Tyler Goss hit a pair of two-run homers to fuel the Panthers' big lead in the nightcap.  The Panthers scored five runs in the second and three more in the third to build an eight-run cushion.

But the Lions came roaring back with two in the bottom of the third and five more in the fourth to come within a run.

Caldwell got the rally started in the third with a one-out walk and then scored the Lions' first run on an RBI single by Joe Lincoln.  A bases-loaded walk to Skyler Rawlins plated the Lions' second run.

Lee Hall and Zak Porath got things going in the fourth with back-to-back singles to lead off the inning.  A single by Dane Kolkmeyer advanced the runners before Lincoln singled both home that made it 8-4.

Jacob Taylor then tripled on a 3-2 pitch that scored Kolkmeyer and Lincoln.  Taylor scored the Lions' fifth run of the inning on a wild pitch.

The Lions scored the two winning runs in the bottom of the sixth as Caldwell drew a lead-off walk, stole second, advanced to third on the throwing error and then scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Lincoln. 

Kolkmeyer then scored the go-ahead run after he was hit by a pitch, stole second and was driven in on an RBI single by Michael Zurmehly.

Regular starter CJ Maffei came on in relief and blanked the Panthers over the final 1 2/3 innings to pick up his fifth victory of the season.  Reliever Mitch Albright also helped the Lions' rally by holding the Panthers scoreless in 2 2/3 innings of work.

Taylor and Lincoln led the Lions' offensive charge by combining to go 6-of-7 at the plate with seven RBI.

The Lions (16-19, 12-14 MIAA) jumped all over Panther starter Harrison Waters in the opener, scoring five times in the first frame. 

Rawlins drove in two runs with a double and Fernando Lugo hit an RBI triple.  Lincoln and Taylor also had run-scoring singles in the inning.

After the Panthers (14-16, 8-6 GLVC) got on the board with an unearned tally in the third, Patrick Deao drove in a pair of runs that gave the Lions a commanding 7-1 lead.

Lincoln rounded out the Lions' scoring by hitting his fourth homer with one out in the fourth inning.

Starter Garrett Groom was solid on the mound, pitching all seven innings with two earned runs allowed and five strikeouts for his fifth win of the year. 

Lincoln and Lugo each went 2-of-2 in the first game for the Lions.

The Lions will next host Northeastern State in another non-conference tilt next Tuesday night (Apr. 13) at 6 p.m.