Southern splits twin bill with Gorillas


Willie Brown/The Chart

Senior Sam Ryan swings at a pitch from the Pittsburg State pitcher during a game on March 7.

After a few tough losses on the road, the Lions had yet another challenge in front of them as Fort Hays carried their hot bats into Joe Becker Stadium this week.

“The game is all about having fun, and I think if we focus more on enjoying the game and having fun while we’re out there, the outcome will show it,” pitcher Ryan Bates said.

Game one put Southern’s top starter Brett Abell on the mound to attempt to slow down the offensive power of Fort Hays, but he got off to a rough start.

Following Abell into the game, Drew Noble shut the Hays bats down pitching three and two-thirds giving up only two hits and no runs.

Dallas Burke started the Southern scoring in the third with a single to right that scored Thomas Wilson.  In the fourth, Dane Kolkmeyer helped the cause with a homer to left, followed by an RBI for Nick Doughty on another single to drive in Tee Helsel in the sixth to pull within two.

In the last inning, the Lions RBIs on hits from Will Wagner and Nick Doughty adding three total runs, putting them up 6-5 going into the bottom of the inning.  

Even so, after a tough inning, Fort Hays was able to put two runs on the board taking the win over the Lions in game one.

Game two was led by a quality start from David Reese, who pitched a complete game giving up only three runs and striking out six. With Dallas Burke hitting a homer and seven other players going for multiple RBIs, Southern pulled away.  In the end, the Lions took a 14-3 victory to split the day with Fort Hays 1-1.

After Monday’s split, the Lions looked to take both games against rival Pitt State on Wednesday afternoon.

The Lions won the first game 4-1, but could not keep the momentum as they fell to Pitt 5-2 the second game.