Southern wins home opener, 18-5 over Ottawa

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team picked up an 18-5 win in its home opener today as the Lions played host to Ottawa University at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin. 

The Lions (3-0) were led offensively by Luke Acosta as the senior went 4-6 with three RBIs and four runs scored. MJ Sartin went 3-6 with a pair of runs and three RBIs. Sam Ryan, Michael McCoy and Thomas Wilson all had three hits, while McCoy scored three times and Wilson and Ryan drove in two each. Tee Helsel went 2-5 with three runs scored and two RBIs. 

Ryan Taylor started and went five and two thirds for the win. He struck out two and allowed four earned runs. Grant Conrad threw two and a third of relief, while Bo Bergen threw the final inning. 

Ottawa (2-3) allowed six errors in the game as three different Braves pitchers threw in the game. 

Ottawa got on board first with an unearned run in the first inning, but the Lions answered back with a pair of runs in each of the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. 

Tee Helsel started it off in the second with a single. He moved to second on a wild pitch and then moved to third on an error. He scored after an RBI double from Michael McCoy and McCoy later scored on an error. The Lions added two more in the third when MJ Sartin scored on an error and Helsel scored on a McCoy RBI single. 

Dane Kolkmeyer led off the fourth with a single and scored on an RBI triple from Acosta. Acosta would score on a sac fly from Ryan. The Lions added two more runs in the fifth and all with two outs. McCoy reached on an error and stole second. He then went to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single from Cullen Baxter. Baxter would move to third on the play after an error in right field. Baxter later scored on an error, as well. 

Ottawa answered back with four runs in the top of the sixth to cut the score to 8-5. Southern scored three more in the sixth and two in the seventh. Acosta singled and moved to second on a single from Ryan to start the sixth. Sartin singled in Acosta and Helsel knocked home Ryan with a sac fly. Jesse Kinzey then doubled home Helsel.

In the seventh, the Lions had RBI singles from Acosta, scoring Thomas Wilson and Ryan scoring Acosta. Southern scored five more runs in the eighth to put the game away.

Southern will be back in action on Saturday and Sunday with a pair of games each day against Sioux Falls. Both days will start at 1 pm.