Lance pitches Lions to split with No. 9 Emporia State

Emporia, Kan. -- Carter Lance dazzled in a complete game effort with nine strikeouts and only one earned run allowed as the Missouri Southern Lions defeated the No. 9-ranked Emporia State Hornets 7-3 in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon (Apr. 17) in Emporia, Kan.  The Hornets took the opener 5-1.

With the score knotted at 1-1 heading into the eighth of the nightcap, Joe Lincoln put the Lions on top with a one-out homer.  Jacob Taylor followed that with a triple and scored on a two-run shot by Micheal Zurmehly that gave the Lions a three-run lead.

The Lions added to their lead by scoring three times with two out in the ninth inning. An RBI single by Lincoln and a run-scoring triple from Taylor put the Lions up 6-1.  Zurmehly then capped the inning with an RBI single that plated Taylor. 

An error led to a pair of runs in the ninth for the Hornets, but Lance struck out the final batter to preserve the victory. 

Lincoln paced the Lions' offensive attack with a 4-of-5 day at the plate with two RBI, while Zurmehly went 3-of-5 with four RBI.

Skyler Rawlins accounted for the Lions' only hit of the opener with a lead-off solo homer in the third that temporarily gave the Lions a 1-0 lead.

But that's all the Lions (18-21, 13-15 MIAA) would be able to muster against Hornets' starter Ben Graham, who retired the last 15 Lion hitters he faced over the final five innings.

The Hornets' scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning.  David Albritton doubled home Kenny Burkhead for the Hornets' first run of the frame.  Calder Cody gave the Hornets the lead with a two run single and Jeremy Francis and Jacob White added run-scoring singles.

Graham struck out two in his seven innings of work for the Hornets (30-9, 23-7 MIAA). 

The Lions and Hornets will conclude the four-game set with another doubleheader tomorrow (Apr. 18) at noon.