Mules use two-out rallies to slip by Lions in MIAA Tournament

Kansas City, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern Lions' season came to an end as the No. 3-ranked Central Missouri Mules scored seven two-out runs to slip by the Lions 10-5 Saturday night (May 8) at the MIAA Tournament.  The Mules advance to the MIAA Tournament Championship tomorrow afternoon (May 9) against No. 9-ranked Emporia State at 1 p.m.

Six of the Mules' runs came when the Mules staged a two-out, nobody on rally in the fourth and seventh innings.

The Lions (28-26) took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning when the Mules scored four times after reliever Garrett Groom retired the first two hitters of the inning. 

Nick DeBiasse started things by drawing a two-out walk and later scored the tying run on an RBI single by Tyler Ruch.  With runners on second and third, Jon Wegener drove in two-runs on an infield single to third that put the Mules (45-8) up 6-4.

Scott Bradbury capped the big inning by driving in Wegener with an RBI single that gave the Mules a three-run lead.

The Mules added to their lead on a sacrifice fly by Bret Schwartz in the eighth inning that made it 8-4.

Cole and Wegener each hit sacrifice flies in the ninth inning to finish out the scoring for the Mules. 

The Lions fell behind 1-0 in the first inning as Frank Specht singled home Schwartz for the Mules.

Jacob Taylor tied the score by bringing home Zach Caldwell on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first.

Caldwell then helped the Lions grab the lead by singling to begin the third, stealing second and scoring on an RBI single by Michael Zurmehly.  Caldwell's stolen base was his 41st of the season, tying the school's all-time single-season record for steals previously set by Mike Zirngibl in 1994. 

The Mules regained the lead by scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, both with two outs.  Eric Cole and Bradbury hit consecutive doubles to tie the score and Cory Deedrick put the Mules back on top with a single that scored Bradbury.

Southern jumped back on top with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

Joe Lincoln singled to lead off the fifth and scored the tying run on an RBI double by Taylor.

Dane Kolkmeyer gave the Lions another one-run lead by leading off the sixth with a lead-off single and then coming around to score on a wild pitch.

With the Lions trailing 10-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Caldwell led off the inning with a solo homer in his final at-bat at MSSU. 

Carter Lance started the game for the Lions and worked four innings, with two runs allowed and two strikeouts.

Groom followed Lance and was charged with six earned runs in four innings. 

Tyler Jinks finished up for the Lions by pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Caldwell wound up a perfect 4-of-4 at the plate for the Lions, with one RBI and three runs scored.