Mules comeback falls short in 11-10 loss to Northeastern State

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The 12th-ranked Central Missouri Mules had their late rally fall short in an 11-10 loss to Northeastern State in game two of the MIAA Tournament opening round series on Saturday afternoon at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field. The RiverHawks won the series 2-0 and eliminated the Mules.
The RiverHawks (26-26) built a 6-0 lead in the first two innings. NSU scored three runs in the first, only of them earned, after a UCM throwing error extended the inning. They picked up three more runs in the second inning. Cody Begovich had an RBI single and two more came on a home run by Bryce Davenport.
The Mules (35-16) got on the board in the bottom of the second on Seth Wheeler‘s RBI single. UCM got another run in the third on a Brad Wilson home run to make it 6-2.
Cody Robinson hit a solo home run in the fourth to make it 7-2 RiverHawks, but the Mules came back in the bottom of the frame wit a Jackson Schnurbusch sacrifice fly to make it 7-3.
NSU scored three more unearned runs in the fifth to extend their lead to 10-3. The Mules got two of those runs back in the fifth on Kevin Gratza‘s single to right to pull within 10-5. UCM kept chipping away at the lead, getting to within 10-6 in the seventh inning on a Hunter Johnson sacrifice fly. The Mules had the bases loaded with no outs, but could only muster the one run.
Trevor Jones‘ RBI single in the eighth made it 10-7 and Jake Alexander‘s run-scoring single made it 10-8.
The RiverHawks got an all important insurance run in the top of the ninth when Andrew Walker had a run-scoring single with two outs. The Mules would score two runs in the ninth on RBI singles from Matt Molbury and Alexander, but a pop-up on the infield ended the game and left UCM just one run short.
Kurtis Schuyler (7-3) took the loss for UCM after giving up six runs, four earned, on five hits in 1.1 innings pitched. Ryan Helsley (7-3) earned the win for NSU after tossing six innings and allowing five runs on eight hits. Cayle Shambaugh pitched the final two innings to earn his first save of the season.
The loss all but ends Central Missouri’s chances to make the NCAA-II Central Regional. UCM was ranked No. 7 in this week’s regional poll with the top six in next Sunday’s final poll making the NCAA Tournament. The Mules have advanced to 20 straight NCAA Regional tournaments.