Southern win series 2-1 against Emporia



Zac Shoemaker thowing a pitch against the Emporia State Hornets on Mar. 31 

Missouri Southern outfielder Ryan Hunter has been named the MIAA baseball player of the week that was announced by the MIAA. Hunter is an asset to the 11 ranked Lions as he helped the Lions go 2-1 in the series against Emporia State University. Hunter hit .571 with three runs scored, two homers, and slugged 1.429.

 “He had a great week. He has real tools and Ryan is explosive and is a run player to watch when he gets it going. It was good to see Ryan Hunter hit the ball around this weekend as well,” said Head Coach Bryce Darnell on the recent play of Hunter

The 11 ranked Missouri Southern baseball team are currently 23-8 overall and leading the conference 14-4. They traveled to Emporia, Kansas for a weekend to face them in a three-game series. The series began with game one being scoreless and had to end up in extra innings. In the twelfth inning, senior Mike Million walked to lead off the inning. freshman Cole McBride hit a single to the left side to load the bases. Freshman Dexter Swims walked allowing Million to score and junior Troy Gagan walked allowing senior Jon Leighton to score another run. The Lions held the lead finishing the game 2-0. Southern would also set a new school record for strikeouts in a game which totaled up to 21 in 12 innings. 

Going into game two, the Lions came out the gates with an RBI double form Gagan. Going to the top of the third, Southern scored four runs from the help of senior Denver Coffee’s RBI double and a three-run homerun from Miller to improve the lead 5-0. In the fourth inning, the Lions gained six more runs. Coffee added another RBI double, Miller had a double, Million added an RBI single, and senior Alex Phillips hit a double to increase the lead by 11 runs. Emporia would only score one run in the fifth and Southern would score one more run in the sixth to run rule Emporia with the score 12-1.

In the last game of the series, Emporia earned nine runs in the first three innings of the game. The Lions scored one in the third from a homerun by Hunter. In the fourth and fifth, Hunter and senior Freddie Landers both added homeruns but would be the last time Southern would score for the remainder of the game. Emporia would go on to score two runs in the eighth concluding the game to 11-5. 

“We don’t talk about national ranking. It is nice to be recognized but the reality is it does not matter or help you win games. We had a good weekend against Emporia. Anytime you can win a road series against a school in this conference is successful. Zach Parish has been really good all year, he gives us a real chance to win. Dexter Swims has been great, he has beamed a real consistent performer as well as Freddie Landers,” said Head Coach Darnell on the Lions national ranking and the series against the Hornets. 

The Lions next game will be against the University of Central Missouri today, Saturday, and Sunday.