Lions split double-header at Central Oklahoma

Joplin, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team split an MIAA double-header today at Central Oklahoma, dropping game one, 5-3, but rebounding to take the nightcap, 6-3. 

A two-run sixth inning lifted Central Oklahoma (3-4, 3-4 MIAA) over Southern (6-3, 2-3 MIAA) 5-3 in the opener. UCO went on top 3-0 after three innings in the first game.

The Lions, however, responded with a run in the fourth and two more in the top of the sixth. Sam Ryan walked and Nick Doughty was hit by a pitch, putting runners at first and second in the fourth. Will Wagner singled to load the bases and Shaun Hoover worked a bases-loaded walk to score Ryan. 

Ryan started things again in the sixth with a lead-off single. Will Wagner then picked up his second home run of the season to tie the game at three. UCO scored two runs in the sixth to take the opener.

Ryan went 1-2 with a pair of runs, while Wagner was 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. David Reese started and went five and a third, striking out six and walking none. Stephen Vaughn and Bo Bergen threw a third of an inning each in relief. 

Southern scored two runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh of game two to take the finale. Hoover started the rally in the fifth with a walk, and Dane Kolkmeyer doubled to right to put runners at second and third. Thomas Wilson then singled to right to score both Hoover and Kolkmeyer. 

Kolkmeyer had a two-run single in the sixth and Ryan added a two-run homer in the seventh. 

Wilson went 3-4 with a pair of RBIs, while Kolkmeyer was 2-4 with a run and two RBIs. Ryan had two runs driven in, while Michael McCoy and Burke had two hits each. 

Ryan Bates started and went five and two thirds, striking out six to earn the win. Vaughn threw two and a third of one-hit ball, while Drew Noble threw a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season. 

The Lions will be back in action this weekend with a conference-series at Fort Hays.