From Staff reports
JOPLIN, Mo. — The Northeastern State baseball team was swept by Missouri Southern State in a doubleheader Wednesday at Joe Becker Stadium.
The Lions (16-10, 12-9 MIAA) took the first game 12-2 and walked off to the tune of a 5-4 victory in the nightcap.
Senior Kegan Knight led the RiverHawks (12-13, 12-13 MIAA) with five hits, and freshman Cody Begovich hit his second home run of the season.
MSSU 12, NSU 2 (1st game)
Missouri Southern State led 6-2 after four innings, and a six-run fifth would squash any hopes of a comeback in the first game of the day.
Knight and sophomore David Weber were both 2-for-3 at the plate. Begovich drove home both NSU runs with his home run in the third frame, and the RiverHawks were outhit 14-7 by the Lions.
Senior Craig George (3-3) was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs on six hits in the first 3.0 innings. Five other pitchers saw time on the mound, with senior Gavin Johnson allowing five runs on four hits in just 0.1 innings.
David Reese (3-3) threw a complete game for MSSU. He scattered seven hits and only allowed two runs. Four different members of the home side had three hits each, and Dallas Burke led the way with four runs batted in and three runs scored.
MSSU 5, NSU 4 (2nd game)
Northeastern State fell behind 4-3 after five innings, but the visitors manufactured the game-tying run in the top of the ninth. The effort would prove for naught, however, as the Lions were able to produce the walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth.
NSU sat down the first two runners of the final frame, but a four-pitch walk to Sam Ryan and an error by Knight put runners at the corners. Will Wagner singled through the right side on the first pitch of the next at-bat to plate Ryan and complete the two-game sweep.
Burke and Wagner had two hits for Missouri Southern State. Both teams belted nine hits.
Payton Walker (3-3) earned his second win over NSU in as many weeks, as he threw the final 4.2 innings of relief and allowed just one run on two hits. He also picked up the victory when these two teams met in Tahlequah March 20. Drew Noble started for the Lions and took a no-decision after allowing three runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Knight was 3-for-3 at the plate for the RiverHawks. Senior Trent Wilkins drove home two runs, and senior Trevor Walch (1-2) took the loss on the mound. He threw the final 4.2 innings and gave up the unearned game-winning run. He only allowed three hits, while striking out four and walking just one.
Sophomore Kyle Shambaugh started the game on the mound and lasted 4.0 innings. He allowed four runs on six hits.
Northeastern State will now travel to Topeka, Kan., for a weekend series with Washburn University. The first two games of the three-game set will be played Friday, with the first pitch slated for 2 p.m.