Lions lose 2 of 3 against Mules in MIAA showdown


Photo by Elaine Parrigon

Million catching pop fly against the Mules on Apr. 7 

The Missouri Southern baseball team had a series last weekend against Central Missouri University at Warren Turner field. The Lions and Mules are currently the top two teams in the conference and are top scorers in the MIAA.  

In game one, the Lions started scoring in the bottom of the fourth from back to back RBI doubles by senior Mike Million and freshman Matt Miller to help gain the lead with two runs. Southern would be scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Mules scored a single run in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth to put the game away 4-2. Junior Zach Parish went seven innings, striking out three and only allowing one run.

In game two, both teams combined for 33 total runs and 16 total pitchers. The Lions would earn a run in the third with a home by freshman Dexter Swims, but still being behind 9-1. Southern would answer in the fourth scoring five runs from a double by Swims and a homerun by senior Freddie Landers to cut the lead by three. The Mules would score three more runs in the fifth, but the Lions answered with a two RBI double from senior Jon Leighton and an RBI double by junior Ryan Hunter. The Mules scored three more runs in the sixth, while Southern earned two of their own. The Mules then scored one more run in the seventh to put them up 16-11. The Lions would gain three runs in the eighth before entering the final inning of the game. Senior Denver Coffee hit a double and Million walked to get on base. They would complete the game from a walk off homerun by Miller to finish the game 17-16. Sophomore Zac Shoemaker started the game, while seven other pitchers threw in relief. 

In the final game of the series, the Lions would tie the school record for most home runs in a single game. The Lions scored four in the first inning from a grand slam hit by junior Troy Gagan. The Lions wouldn’t score again until the fourth started by a three-run homerun by Swims and a homerun by Leighton to score nine runs. The Mules would answer back scoring four runs in the top of the fifth. Going into the sixth, Southern scored three with the help of senior Alex Phillips hitting a homerun. In the remainder of the game, the Mules went out to score eleven unearned runs in the three final innings to end the game 18-16. Junior Will Bausinger started and went five innings, and five other Lions threw in belief. 

 “Two good teams played hard against each other. We need to be better on the mound. There were too many two out base runners, but we competed hard. Dexter Swims and the rest of the offense was great during the series,” said Head Coach Bryce Darnell on the series against the Mules. 

The Lions also faced off against the Washburn University on April 9 as the Lions would lose their fourth game in the past five games. The Lions would lose the game 10-3 and their record would fall to 24-11. 

The Lions next matchup will be against the Southwest Baptist University Bearcats with a double header on Friday, April 12 before finishing up the series on Saturday. The series will be in Bolivar, Missouri as the Lions face the Bearcats for the second time this year.