Clean Sweep


Pablo E. Ortiz, The Chart

Junior Richie Gorski stroking the ball into the outfiled on Warren Turner Field on opening day against Bemidji State on Feb. 12, 2016. Gorski had one of the two hits for the Lions in their 1-0 win. The Lions averaged 11 runs a game in the four game series. Southern got both the MIAA Player and Pitcher of the Week announced on Feb 16. as both Joe Paulino and Payton Walker were honored.

The Missouri Southern baseball team, ranked No. 15, opened up the 2016 season by welcoming Bemidji State to Warren Turner Field. It was a great weekend of baseball that ended with Southern winning all four games in their first weekend sweep of the season. 

In game one, a game that the Lions won 1-0, they received an outstanding start from senior southpaw Payton Walker, who pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed three hits, while striking out five and walking just one. Kyle McCulloh struck out two in the top of the ninth to secure the win and the shutout.                                  

Game two this weekend was much more offense oriented in a 15-3 shellacking as the Lions were lead by a Chris Hoffman grand slam that highlighted a nine run fourth inning.  Cody Hutchinson started for Southern and pitched six strong innings, striking out four and walking none while working around five hits that resulted in two runs. 

Sean Goostree, Austin Aspegren and Trenton Moeller each came on in relief and pitched one inning a piece to finish the game.

Matt Smith hit a grand slam and Tyler Sutherland drove in five runs as Southern coasted to another win in game three against Bemidji State by a score of 14-6. 

Chris Hoffman had another good game as he went 4-5 with four runs scored and two runs driven in but it was Smith’s homerun that highlighted the afternoon.  

Zach Litchen started on the mound and went four innings, while striking out five and walking two batters. He allowed two runs on five hits before he was replaced. Conner Matson and Kyle McCulloch pitched an inning each followed by two innings from Austyn Gooch and a perfect ninth inning from Trenton Moeller to end the game.

The Lions ended the weekend series by launching five homeruns en route to a 14-2 win to complete the four-game sweep. 

Brett Graham, Tyler Sutherland, Joe Paulino and Hayden Steele all went deep in the game to provide plenty of offense for Cody Smith who did the pitching for Southern. 

He went six innings, striking out nine and allowing just two hits for the win. Hunter Harrison and Craig Larkin threw scoreless innings and Austin Aspegren closed out the ninth.

Southern will now look forward to another weekend home series as the Lions play host to McKendree University. First pitch from Warren Turner field will be Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.