Mules rally late with five runs, fall 6-5 to Drury

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Sports Editor

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Despite a late potential comeback by the Mules that included a home run from Collin Nevil, Mules baseball came up short against the Drury Panthers losing 6-5 Tuesday, March 28, at Crane Stadium Tompkins Field.

The two teams combined for just three hits over the first four innings. The sluggish start, however, didn’t last and things picked up in the fifth inning with a single from Caleb Essick that advanced Clayton Engel to second. Engel reached home off a fielding error and the Panthers put their first run of the contest on the board.

Mules pitcher Ross Julianna struggled in the top of the sixth, allowing back-to-back home runs. Riley Herron sent a two-run home run over the right center wall and Engel followed with a homer of his own to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead. Essick added one more run for the Panthers after doubling and then later reaching home on a throwing error.

The Mules fought back in the bottom of the sixth and came within three runs of the Panthers. Erik Webb led the inning with a single and scored off a groundout from Cole Distler. Matt Elliott added the second run with a double that brought Travis Stroup home.

The Panthers added their final run of the game in the seventh when Dylan Bradshaw hit an RBI single that scored Nic Perkins.

The Mules were left with a lot of ground to cover, but came close to tying the game in the bottom of the seventh. Stroup hit a sacrifice fly into center field and scored Blake Wilfong. Nevil followed Stroup with an inside-the-park two-run homer that brought the Mules within one run of the Panthers.

The Mules got the tying run on base in the eighth with a single from Miles Orscheln, but Orscheln’s single proved to be the last hit of the night for Central.

Nevil led the Mules offense, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Stroup, Distler and Elliott each recorded an RBI.

Brandon Reid recorded his first loss of the season after allowing three hits and a run over 4 1/3 innings. Juliana allowed four runs and four walks over 1 2/3 innings.

Avery Jennings got the win after allowing two runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings.

The Mules take the field again on April 4 when they host the Lindenwold Lions.