Mules split MIAA Tournament doubleheader with Pittsburg State

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(HAYS, Kan.) – The seventh-ranked Central Missouri Mules dropped the opening game of their MIAA Tournament First Round series to Pittsburg State 11-3 on Saturday afternoon at Larks Park, but rebounded for a 16-4 run-rule win in game two to even the series. The third and decisive game of the series is at 1 p.m. Sunday in Larks Park.
The Gorillas (27-22) jumped on top 2-0 in the first inning of game one on Brad Foss’ two-run single. The Mules (35-10) came back to tie the game in the bottom of the second.John Oropeza led off the inning with a home run and Barrett Noirfalise doubled home Chase Graskewicz to knot the score at 2-all.
The game was still tied in the fourth when the Gorillas erupted for five unearned runs to take a 7-2 lead. Pitt State added another run in the sixth on Foss’ third RBI of the game to take an 8-2 lead. Central Missouri earned a run back in the bottom of the seventh on Samuel Domingue’s RBI single to make it 8-3.
The Mules loaded the bases in the eighth, but couldn’t score and PSU plated three runs in the next half inning to take an 11-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth.
Travis Higgs (5-2) took the loss for UCM after giving up seven runs, only two earned, on six hits in 3.2 innings. Matt Stalcup (7-3) got the win for Pitt State after allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings.
The Gorillas knocked out five hits in the top of the first of game two and scored four runs to grab the early lead. UCM responded, however, plating two runs of their own with two outs to cut the lead to 4-2 after one inning. Doubles by Kyle Grieshaber and Brad Wilson and a triple by John Oropeza plated both runs for the Mules.
Trevor Jones hit his first career home run in the second inning to make it 4-3 in favor of PSU and Grieshaber singled home Jon Cotter to tie the game. The Mules took their first lead of the day in the third on Cotter’s sacrifice fly.
The big blow came in the fifth, when the Mules erupted for 11 runs to make it 16-4. The Mules had 11 hits in the inning and they were aided by three Gorilla errors.
The Mules pounded out 18 hits in the game and eight of the nine starters recorded hits. Grieshaber, Oropeza, Jones and Cotter all finished with three hits in game two and Grieshaber knocked in four runs. Domingue, Graskewicz, Jones and Cotter all drove in two runs apiece.
Andrew Urban (5-2) earned the win for the Mules after tossing 6.2 innings of four-hit relief. He struck out six and didn’t walk a batter.
George Brandecker (5-4) took the loss for the Gorillas after giving up nine runs on 13 hits in 4.1 innings.