Lions drop game one, 4-2 to Northeastern State in MIAA Tournament opener

Joplin, Mo. -- Northeastern State scored two runs in the fifth inning and added a run in each of the eighth and ninth and came away with a 4-2 win over the Missouri Southern baseball team today in the opener of the MIAA Tournament series between the two schools at Joe Becker Stadium. 

The Lions (29-19) would get on the board first as Nick Doughty knocked home his second home run of the season to put Southern on top 1-0 after three innings. 

NSU (28-21) answered back and scored two unearned runs in the fifth to go up 2-1. The RiverHawks added a run in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly to go up 3-1, but the Lions answered back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single from Will Wagner, scoring Dallas Burke

Northeastern would score one more in the ninth and RiverHawks closer Trevor Walch went one and a third in relief of starter Kyle Shambaugh to earn his tenth save of the season. Walch moved to 4-2 on the year. 

Southern had a hit each from Burke, Sam Ryan, Wagner, Thomas Wilson, Tee Helsel and Doughty. Doughty had a home run, while Wagner drove in Burke with the only other run for the Lions. 

Brett Abell started and went eight and a third of solid pitching as the senior struck out six, and walked just one, while allowing only one earned run. His six strikeouts give him 98 on the season which leads the MIAA and is a new Southern single-season record, breaking the previous mark from Tim Luther back in 1991. David Reese threw the final two thirds of an inning, striking out one. 

The Lions and RiverHawks will be back at it tomorrow at noon from Joe Becker Stadium. First pitch of game one will be at noon and the Lions will need to win both games tomorrow if they wish to advance to the final four in Kansas City.