Mules Baseball splits doubleheader at Lincoln

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) – The fifth-ranked Central Missouri Mules pounded out 24 hits in a 26-5 win in game one, but faltered late in game two and fell 10-8 for a doubleheader split at the LU Baseball Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Mules led game two 8-3, but surrendered seven runs in the eighth inning.
In game one, the Mules (25-7, 19-6 MIAA) dominated from start to finish. UCM put up five runs in the first inning and never looked back. Brad Wilson brought home the first run with a sacrifice bunt. John Oropeza added a two-run double and scored on Kevin Gratza’s RBI single. Jon Cotter added an RBI single as well to close out the first inning as the Mules sent 10 men to the plate.
The Blue Tigers (4-24, 3-20 MIAA) got two runs back in the bottom of the inning on a Ben Stewart home run to right field.
Central Missouri tacked on four more runs in the second inning for a 9-2 lead. Wilson had a two-run double to right center and scored on Oropeza’s home run to right center. Lincoln scored three in the bottom of the frame to pull back to within 9-5. Josh Kennedy hit a two-run home run and Logan Smith added a solo shot for LU.
The Mules broke the game wide open in the fourth scoring nine runs on six hits. Samuel Domingue had a bases-loaded double scoring three runs to give UCM a 12-5 lead.Kyle Grieshaber had a sac bunt RBI and Gratza had a three-run triple to make it 17-5. Seth Wheeler added an RBI double to give UCM a 13-run lead.
The Mules added two more runs in the fifth on an RBI triple by Dylan Hanson and a Gratza single up the middle to make it 20-5. Trevor Jones had an RBI single in the sixth and later scored on a Hunter Johnson home run to give UCM a 23-5 advantage. Tom Latimore drew a bases loaded walk to force in another run and Jake Alexander was hit by a pitch forcing in the 25th run of the game to give UCM a 20-run lead.
UCM added one more run in the seventh on a Barrett Noirfalise RBI double for the 26-5 win.
Blake Kolons (1-1) got the win after pitching 5.2 innings of one-hit relief. He walked one and struck out 10. Cameron Moss (0-7) took the loss for Lincoln after giving up nine runs on nine hits in one inning of work.
The Blue Tigers took an early 1-0 lead in game two on a Clint Cashen RBI single in the bottom of the first. UCM quickly tied the game when Seth Wheeler led off the second inning with a home run.
The Mules took a 3-1 lead in the third with a pair of runs. Trevor Jones went first to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored when the ball was overthrown at third. Kevin Gratza added a sac bunt RBI as well. Lincoln tied the game in the bottom of the frame. Stewart had an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch.
UCM scored twice in the fourth to regain the lead. Grieshaber had an RBI single to break the tie and Wilson added an infield RBI single. Two more runs in the sixth gave the Mules a 7-3 lead. Domingue singled home Jon Cotter and later scored on Jones’ RBI double.
The Mules added a single run in the top of the eighth on an RBI double by Grieshaber to open an 8-3 lead. The Blue Tigers rallied for seven runs on seven hits in the bottom half to take a 10-8 lead. Brad Wright had a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the inning. Back-to-back RBI singles by Kennedy and Zach Roberts made it 8-6 with two outs. A UCM throwing error extended the inning and loaded the bases. Back-to-back walks tied the game and Stewart ripped a two-run single up the middle to give LU the lead.
The Mules put the tying run with two outs in the ninth, but a fly out to right field ended the game.
Andrew Urban (3-2) took the loss for UCM after giving up four runs, only one earned, on three hits in 0.1 innings of relief. Nathan Lueckenhoff (1-1) earned the win for the Blue Tigers after pitching the final two innings and giving up one run on four hits.
Gratza finished the day 7-for-8 with six RBI, while Jones was 6-for-8 with eight runs scored and Cotter was 5-for-8.
The Mules are back in action Saturday and Sunday hosting Missouri Southern in a three-game series at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. as does Sunday’s single nine-inning game. All three games can be heard live on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and www.warrensburgradio.com.