Lions split home opening double-header with Arkansas Tech

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team got six RBIs from Patrick Deao in game one, but split a double-header with visiting Arkansas Tech today, taking game one 20-15 and dropping the nightcap, 10-8. 

Southern (2-1) scored in every inning in game one, with a run each in the first two innings, but the Lions broke out with six in the third, five in the fourth and six in the fifth, before a single run in the sixth. 

Deao went 5-5 in the game with six RBIs and three runs scored. Cullen Baxter led off the game with his first home run of the year, as he went 2-4 with two runs and a pair of RBIs. Dallas Burke, Shayne Hoke, Jesse Kinzey and CJ Matthews all had a pair of hits in the game. Deo and Matthews had two doubles each with Fernando Lugo adding a triple. 

Austin Brown started the game for the Lions and went three and a third, giving up seven earned runs. Michael Mudd threw the final three and two thirds, striking out three and allowing five to pick up the win. 

The Lions jumped out in front again in game two, scoring two in the first as back-to-back walks put two on for Burke and he singled through the right side to score Baxter. Harrison Gerber would score in a wild pitch. 

After a home run from Tech's (3-3) Thomas Biocic cut the lead in half, the Lions scored two more in the third when Baxter scored on a sac fly from Gerber and Burke crossed the plate on an RBI double from Kinzey. 

Tech scored two each in the fourth and fifth innings to go ahead briefly, but the Lions answered back with three in the bottom of the fifth on a pair of unearned runs and an RBI single from Tee Helsel

The Wonderboys, however, would answer and scored three more in the sixth and two in the seventh. Deao added an RBI single in the seventh, scoring Helsel. 

Ryan Wheat started for the Lions in game two and went four and a third, allowing four earned runs and striking out three. David Reese, Kinzey and Ryan Taylor threw in relief. 

Baxter scored three runs in the game, while Helsel had two hits. 

Southern will be back in action next Wednesday (Feb. 23), playing host to College of the Ozarks in a single, nine-inning game at Joe Becker Stadium.