Kansas City, Kan. -- A grand slam from Tee Helsel, as well as a complete-game shutout from Brett Abell lifted the Missouri Southern baseball team over Pittsburg State in the 2013 MIAA Baseball Championships at CommunityAmerica Ballpark today.
Southern (32-19) will now move on to face number one seed Missouri Western in the winners bracket final tomorrow morning at 11 am. The winner of that game will advance to the championship game of the tournament.
Abell started for the Lions and went nine innings, striking out seven and walking just three, while scattering six hits for his fifth win of the year. He now has 105 strikeouts on the season, increasing his school record.
Southern got on the board in the fourth when Nick Doughty singled home Helsel, who had singled to start the inning. Michael McCoy then came up with a two-run single to score both doughty and Dane Kolkmeyer.
The Lions broke the game open in the seventh, scoring six runs in the inning, highlighted by a grand slam, home run number five of the season by Helsel. Southern batted around in the inning and had RBIs from Dallas Burke and Doughty in the inning.
Pitt (28-23) would leave three runners in the final two innings, 11 all-together in the game.
Southern had two hits each from McCoy, Burke, Sam Ryan, Helsel and Doughty. Helsel drove in four and scored twice. McCoy and Doughty drove in a pair each, while Burke, Ryan, Will Wagner, Thomas Wilson, Doughty, Kolkmeyer and Shaun Hoover scored once each.
It is the biggest win in the MIAA Tournament for the Lions since the 10-0 win by the Lions over Central Missouri in 2009.
The Lions and Griffons will face off tomorrow morning at 11 am. Southern will be the home team in the game.