Baseball continues winning streak


Willie Brown/The Chart

Senior Brett Abell pitches during the double header against College of the Ozarks on April 3.

As many students embarked on spring break to indulge in their favorite guilty pleasures, the Southern baseball team spent their time on the dirt of the diamond.  

Running on all cylinders the Lions squad has been on a tear.  Gaining series sweeps against Lincoln, Northeastern State, and Northwest Missouri helping to shoot them up the rankings in the conference.

With improvement necessary in all facets of the game, the Lions play exceeded their former performances in all areas.  With clutch hitting by the entire lineup in much needed victories, and outstanding pitching that had starters repeatedly going deep into games, the Lions (19-11, 15-9 MIAA) now ride the wave of an eight game winning streak and 11 victories in their last 12 games.  A winning trend that the Lions look to continue throughout the rest of the year as they get set to play key conference games down the stretch.

“Starting pitching sets the tone, and our starting pitching has been good to this point,” said Assistant Coach Nick Tuck.  “We needed to have depth,” Tuck continued, “you got to have five starters and you don’t want to just have five, you want to have more than that competing for that job.”

Pitching has been the dramatic change and the catalyst to the difference in the win column.  As the hurlers from top to bottom continue to make batters look silly in the box, lead by Brett Abell, who won MIAA pitcher of the week honors, and others such as David Reese, Drew Noble, Payton Walker, and Ryan Bates, they continue to throw deep into games giving the Lion bats a chance to simply swing away.

Not to be outdone, the men with those bats have stepped up to play.  Lead by multiple players throughout the statistical categories, the Lions lineup has become a different animal.  Sam Ryan tops the team in batting average at .387, Dallas Burke in runs scored at 28, Michael McCoy in hits at 44, and Tee Helsel in home runs with four.

But as the games come down to crunch times the Lions seem to always step up.  Whether it is on top of the mound or in the batters’ box, this team knows that they can get it done.

“We need to keep winning games to put us in the best spot going into the tournament,” said junior David Reese.

The team continued their winning streak on Wednesday as they took on a double header against College of the Ozarks.

The Lions swept College of the Ozarks, 5-4 the first game and 5-2 the second game.

A straight forward task for a team that seems to have the blinders on as they look to keep their streak alive as they get set to continue conference play.