Zurmehly, Deao power Lions to split with No. 9 Hornets

Emporia, Kan. -- Michael Zurmehly and Patrick Deao each hit three-run homers to power the Missouri Southern Lions to a 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the No. 9-ranked Emporia State Hornets in the nightcap of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon (Apr. 18) at Glennon Field in Emporia, Kan.   The Hornets slipped by the Lions 3-2 in the opener as the two squads split the weekend four-game series.

The Lions were forced to stage a huge rally in the second game after falling behind 6-0 after three innings.

J.D. Herman doubled home Marc Albers in the third for the first run of the game, and Kenny Burkhead, David Albritton and Travis Whipple added RBI singles as the Hornets jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

The Hornets added two more in the fourth before the Lions (19-22, 14-16 MIAA) got busy in the seventh inning.

Lincoln got things rolling with a lead-off walk that was followed by consecutive singles by Jacob Taylor and Zurmehly that loaded the bases.  Fernando Lugo then singled home Lincoln for the Lions' first run of the game. 

After Skyler Rawlins reached on a fielder's choice that scored Taylor to make it 6-2, Deao cleared the bases with a three-run homer that brought the Lions to within a run.

The Hornets (31-10, 24-8 MIAA) had an answer as Chris Dobler hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh that gave the Hornets a three-run lead. 

But the Lions were not going to be denied as Lincoln and Taylor once again reached base to begin the inning that was followed by a clutch, three-run shot by Zurmehly that knotted the game at 8-8. 

The Lions weren't through in the inning as Deao and Taylor each singled with two out and Zach Caldwell singled home Deao to give the Lions the lead.

Relievers Mitch Albright and Zak Porath combined to shut the door by holding the Hornets scoreless on two hits over the final two innings. 

Albright pitched the final 1 2/3 and Porath came on and struck out Tyler Herrig to end the game.

A homer by Joe Lincoln in the fourth snapped a scoreless tie in the opener, but the Hornets responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the inning. 

The Hornets then grabbed the lead with a pair of bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the fifth. 

Dane Kolkmeyer led off the sixth with a double and made it a one-run game by scoring on a wild pitch. The Lions then had first and second with no outs, but a fielder's choice groundout and a double-play got the Hornets out of the inning.

Lincoln went a perfect 3-of-3 at the plate for the Lions.

The Lions will now wrap up the non-conference portion of their schedule with a home matchup against Central Oklahoma on Tuesday evening (Apr. 20) beginning at 5 p.m. at Joe Becker Stadium.