Mules Baseball earns doubleheader split at Missouri Western

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) – The eighth-ranked Central Missouri Mules and sixth-ranked Missouri Western Griffons split a pair of one-run games to open their key MIAA series on Saturday afternoon at the Missouri Western Baseball Field.
The Griffons won the opener 3-2 with a walk-off single in the seventh before the Mules won the nightcap 2-1 behind Kurtis Schuyler’s dominating pitching performance.
The Mules (30-9, 24-8 MIAA) took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning of game one on Brad Wilson’s RBI sacrifice bunt. The Griffons (32-6, 25-3 MIAA) answered in the bottom of the inning with two runs to take the lead. Nate Ramler tripled home Kyle Simpson to tie the game and he later scored on a groundout by Spencer Shockley.
The Mules were down to their final out in the seventh when Kevin Gratza doubled down the right field line to score Wilson tying the game at 2-2. Missouri Western came right back in the bottom of the inning putting the first three runners on base. With the bases loaded and no outs Shawn Egge singled to left scoring Dylon Koch to give MWSU the win.
Travis Higgs (5-1) was the tough luck loser for UCM giving up three runs on four hits in six plus innings of work. He walked three and struck out one.
Brandon Simmons (9-0) earned the complete-game win for the Griffons allowing two runs on four hits in seven innings. With the win, he becomes the MIAA’s career wins leader with 33. He broke the record of 32 previously held by UCM Hall of Famer Josh Reynolds (1998-2000).
Game two was scoreless through the first five innings with both pitchers keeping the hitters off balance. UCM broke through in the sixth to take a 1-0 lead. John Oropeza singled with two outs and scored when Gratza doubled to right center.
The Mules plated an insurance run in the seventh on Jon Cotter’s RBI sacrifice bunt to make it 2-0.
The Griffons scored one run in the ninth on Simpson’s sacrifice fly, but Andrew Urban recorded the final two outs to earn his fifth save of the season.
Kurtis Schuyler (4-3) was dominant on the mound en route to his fourth win of the season. He had a no-hitter through 7.1 innings before Grant Fink’s single to center field. He tossed 8.1 innings allowing just one unearned run on two hits. He struck out six and walked just one. He retired 20 batters in a row after issuing a one out walk in the first inning.
Ethan Ward (2-3) took the loss for the Griffons after allowing two runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings.
Samuel Domingue finished the game 3-for-4, while Oropeza and Barrett Noirfalise each had two hits.