Taylor, Maffei lead Lions to 12-7 win over Fort Hays

Hays, Kan. -- Jacob Taylor drove in four runs and CJ Maffei pitched five effective innings out of the bullpen to help the Missouri Southern pull even in the four game series against the Fort Hays State Tigers, winning 12-7 Saturday afternoon (Apr. 24) in Hays, Kan. 

The two squads were scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the anticipation of rain forced the Lions and Tigers to play a single game today and a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon (Apr. 25) at noon. 

Taylor got the Lions off and running with a three-run homer in the first inning, his 11th of the season.  Skyler Rawlins doubled and Joe Lincoln singled ahead of Taylor's blast.

Chris Santoscoy led off the third with a homer and the Tigers added another run in the inning to pull within 3-2.

The Lions (21-23, 15-17 MIAA) broke the game open with an eight-run fourth inning.  CJ Matthews capped the big inning with a three-run homer that put the Lions on top 11-2. 

The big inning also featured an RBI single by Zach Caldwell and a two-run double from Michael Zurmehly.

Jordan Payne singled home a run and Nash Smith followed that up with a two-run double as the Tigers (26-18, 18-16 MIAA) scored four in the bottom of the fifth to claw within 11-6.

But CJ Maffei held down the fort from there and pitched five solid innings in relief of starter Carter Lance

Maffei allowed only an unearned run in the ninth on three hits and struck out three to notch the win and improve his record to 6-5.

Matthews finished the day 3-of-3 for the Lions with three runs scored and two RBI.

The Lions and Tigers will wrap up the four-game set with a doubleheader beginning at noon tomorrow afternoon (Apr. 25).