FHSU baseball drops season-opening series to Mines


Fort Hays State and Colorado School of Mines were scheduled to play in Golden, Colo. for the 2022 baseball season’s opening weekend; however,  with cold weather threatening the games Fort Hays hosted the Orediggers in Hays instead. Mines used a big first day and experience donw the stretch to win the series 4-0. 

“For this team, we would have liked to start on the road to not have the added pressure of playing in front of our fans, but the fans showed up and showed out for us and we just needed to get the job done in the final two games because we were right there with them and just came up short.” Head Coach of the Tigers Jerod Goodale said. 

On opening day, the Tigers struggled offensively and defensively. The Tigers pitching staff allowed three home runs, including two back-to-back. The defense also gave up three errors in the game. 

The offense didn’t do much better. As a team, the Tigers hit the ball eight times out of 38 at-bats. The Orediggers pressured the Tigers to run rule in the 7th inning, but the Tigers scored three runs in the bottom of the 7th to keep the game going. Mines ended the game with a 13-4 victory with an outstanding performance by Kevin Zapanta with 6.1 innings pitched, giving up four hits with six strikeouts on the day. 

On Sunday the Tigers and Orediggers competed in a doubleheader. Tyler Blomster had a stellar day on the mound for the Orediggers, he collected 13 strikeouts in six innings pitched and held the Tigers to three hits and one walk. Blomster was one strikeout shy of the school record. Mines ended up winning, 7-0. 

“Blomster is probably one of the best pitchers we will face this year. I got to coach him in my final two years at Mines and he’s a big competitor and I gotta tip my cap to him because he had a great game going for himself.” Goodale said. 

In the second half of the day, the Tigers had opportunities to win the game, as FHSU only lost by two runs to the Orediggers. However, the Tigers left 10 men on base. The Tigers offense produced a big inning in the 4th, scoring four runs. 

The Orediggers earned four runs in the first and earned two more runs in the next two innings of play. Mines won the game by shutting down the Tigers bats for the rest of the game. Fort Hays lost game three by the final of 6-4, and Goodale saw a good effort in his guys. 

“We felt like our older guys needed to step up this weekend because of having so many freshmen in the lineup card. The freshman kinda had a baptism by fire this weekend because the game of college baseball is so intense,” Goodale said. “I thought we played pretty good defense, and offensively we need to get better, we had two stretches of five straight strikeouts, but our team got better as the weekend went along and I am not ready to hit the panic button yet but I am ready to get back on the field.”

In the series finale, the Tigers fought hard against the Orediggers and even claimed their first lead of the year in the 4th inning, and then reclaimed the lead in the 7th. Hunter Parker was the best starting pitcher for the Tigers during the weekend, as he went a full eight full innings, only giving up five hits to go along with six strikeouts. He finished the day with a 3.38 ERA. A late surge from Mines in the 8th and 9th inning allowed them to steal the final game of the series and start the year undefeated. 

The Tigers next play on the road at Drury in a four-game series Friday through Sunday. First pitch Friday is set for 3:00 p.m. 

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