Southern loses first series of season

Head coach Bryce Darnell expresses his displeasure to the dugout following a home run during the Lions contest on Feb. 28, 2016 at Warren Turner Field against Lindenwood. Southern lost their first game of the season against Lindenwod and lost the following series (two of three games) against conference opponent Nebraska-Kearney last weekend. Southern is 11-3, 3-3 MIAA and currently sits in sixth place in the conference. Southern is 10-1 on Warren Turner Field this season. 

Pablo Ortiz

Head coach Bryce Darnell expresses his displeasure to the dugout following a home run during the Lions contest on Feb. 28, 2016 at Warren Turner Field against Lindenwood. Southern lost their first game of the season against Lindenwod and lost the following series (two of three games) against conference opponent Nebraska-Kearney last weekend. Southern is 11-3, 3-3 MIAA and currently sits in sixth place in the conference. Southern is 10-1 on Warren Turner Field this season. 

Cody Lee

The Missouri Southern baseball team lost their first weekend series of the young season to the Nebraska-Kearney Lopers two games to one moving their overall record to 11-3 and their MIAA record to 3-3. 

It seems that the Lions offense never really got going until game three of the series as the team only managed nine total runs in the first two games before the bats exploded for 16 runs in the series finale. 

Southern only managed four hits in game one, as Jackson Cain went 2-4, and Richie Gorski hit a two-run home run to score the only runs on the afternoon. 

Payton Walker drew the start and suffered his first loss of the season, which puts his record at 2-1. 

He pitched five innings, striking out four and allowing nine hits while giving up four earned runs. Southern then turned it over to the bullpen where Sean Goostree and Conner Matson combined for the final three innings of three-hit baseball. 

In game two Southern hit three home runs but still lost. Brett Graham led the offensive attack going 3-5 with one of the aforementioned home runs, driving in a three overall. 

Cody Smith started on the mound and lasted four innings allowing only four hits. 

A couple of errors by his defense led to five unearned runs and he eventually took the loss. 

Zach Litchen and Connor Matson threw the last three innings to close out the 10-7 loss. 

To finish the series the Lion’s offense woke up and put together 23 hits that turned into 16 runs as Hayden Steele, Tyler Sutherland, and Richie Gorski collected four hits apiece. 

Chris Hoffman did the pitching for Southern and went three innings before turning it over to the bullpen as Austin Aspegren threw five innings and Zach Litchen pitched the ninth to secure the lone win of the road trip. 

Southern will be back in action Friday as they play host to the 30th ranked and MIAA leading Emporia State.

Emporia boasts a plentiful offense. They lead the MIAA in team batting average (.378), runs (182), hits (222) and home runs (29). Obstacles that the Southern pitching staff will have to overcome.

The three-game series will start with a single, nine-inning game from Warren Turner field at 5 p.m.