Mules swept in MIAA-opening doubleheader at Fort Hays State

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(HAYS, Kan.) — The early season struggles continued for the Mules baseball team as they were swept in their MIAA-opening doubleheader by Fort Hays State on Thursday at Larks Park. The Tigers took the opener 9-1 then completed the sweep with a 9-8 win in game two. UCM rallied from 6-1 down to tie the nightcap, but FHSU scored three runs in the top of the ninth and held off a UCM rally in the bottom half for the win.
Game one was all Fort Hays State as the Tigers (2-2, 2-0 MIAA) cruised to the 9-1 win. FHSU plated two runs in the second, four in the fourth, two more in the fifth and one in the sixth. Caleb Cherryholmes and Gus Strunk each drove in a run in the second to get things started for FHSU. Cherryholmes added another RBI in the fourth, Nick Hammeke had a two-run double and Connor Ross an RBI single to make it 6-0.
Cherryholmes added his third RBI of the game in the fifth and Andre Vieyra scored on a UCM throwing error to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead.
UCM (4-5, 0-2 MIAA) got on the board in the fifth on Dusty Maas’ RBI groundout, but FHSU got that run back in the sixth when Alex King scored on a passed ball to make it 9-1.
Tyler Patty (1-0) earned the complete-game win for the Tigers, allowing one run on five hits while striking out four. Tyler House (1-2) took the loss for UCM after giving up six runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
The Tigers jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the first in game two on Cooper Langley’s RBI groundout. UCM tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third on Trevor Jones’ RBI groundout.
Fort Hays State went right back in front 4-1 with three runs in the top of the fourth. Langley scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1 and Strunk added a two-run single for the 4-1 advantage. The lead grew to 6-1 in the fifth when Langley hit a two-run homer to right.
The Mules started to crawl back in to the game in the bottom of the fifth. Miles Orscheln doubled in Maas to make it 6-2 and Tony Sandifer’s solo home run in the sixth made it 6-3. Maas had a two-RBI single later in the inning to make it 6-5 and John Oliver scored on a balk to tie the game at 6-6.
Lucas Williams pitched out of bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the seventh to keep the game tied and it remained so until the ninth. FHSU loaded the bases with one out. Following a fielder’s choice that gave UCM two outs, Langley scored on a wild pitch to give the Tigers the lead. Cherryholmes added a two-run single and Fort Hays State led 9-6.
UCM rallied in the bottom half with Sandifer bring home two runs with a bases loaded single. Victor Brancato stole third with one out and following the second out of the inning, Sandifer stole second to put the potential winning run in scoring position. The Mules couldn’t capitalize though as a strikeout ended the threat and the game.
Williams (2-1) took the loss for the Mules after giving up three runs on three hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Starter Carlos D’Armas allowed six runs on seven hits in five innings. He did strike out eight batters. Blake Kolons walked three and struck out two in an inning and a third of relief.
Kyle Vogt (1-0) picked up the win for Fort Hays State after tossing 2.2 innings of relief. He allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits. Austin Unrein recorded the final two outs of the game to record his first save of the season.
The doubleheader sweep is the first against the Mules since dropping both games of a doubleheader at Fort Hays State on March 24, 2012.
The series wraps up on Friday with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The Mules will once again be the home team in both games, even though the games are being played in Hays.