By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – The Fort Hays State baseball team completed the weekend sweep of Missouri Western with a 12-2 win in the finale on Saturday (April 10). The Tigers fought back to tie things up at 2-2 in the fifth before erupting for 10 runs over the final two innings to seal the victory. Fort Hays State is now 5-20 on the season and 5-16 in MIAA play, while the Griffons dip to 8-19 overall and 6-15 in league action.
After starter Hunter Parker worked around a pair of hits in the bottom of the first, the Tigers jumped in front after opening the second with three-consecutive hits. Grant Schmidt led off with a double before Garrett Stephens moved him up with a single to right. Jacob Pryor followed with a single through the hole at second, driving in the first run of the game.
The Griffons threatened again in the second, but Parker got out of the jam with a flyout and a strikeout. Missouri Western finally got on the board with three singles and a walk in the third, but Parker managed to limit the damage to one run after he posted three-straight strikeouts to get out of the frame. The home team took their first lead of the day in the home half of the fourth with a leadoff home run.
The Tigers tied things up in the fifth after Ed Scott led off with a single and moved up 90 feet on an error by the left fielder. Scott advanced to third on a single from Griffin Brunson before coming around to score on a bunt single from Drake Angeron, knotting things up at 2-2.
Parker made quick work of the Griffons the rest of the way, retiring the side in order in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The redshirt-junior retired the final 13 batters he faced, giving the Tiger offense a great opportunity to make something happen.
After leaving two runners on in the seventh, the bats came through in the eighth with a big fly from Schmidt. The outfielder crushed his team-leading sixth home run sailing over the fence in center, driving in Jacob Bouzide and giving the Tigers a 4-2 advantage.
The offense was not done yet, however, as the Tigers blew the game wide open with a huge two-out rally that yielded eight runs on seven hits. Traelon Yarbrough led off the ninth with a single before Scott laid down a sacrifice bunt. A strikeout created the second out of the inning before Angeron drew an intentional walk. Bouzide was hit by a pitch in the ensuing plate appearance, loading the bases for Kade Wallace.
The first baseman came through with a single to center, plating a pair and doubling the Tiger lead. Schmidt and Stephens kept things rolling with back-to-back RBI doubles before Pryor drove one in with a single to center. Yarbrough followed with his second hit of the inning before Scott sent a double to left center, driving in a pair and stretching the Tiger lead to double figures, 12-2.
Jacob Ensz came on to pitch the ninth inning, giving up one hit while striking out one batter to seal the victory.
Parker (1-2) tossed 8.0 innings, giving up just two runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out 10 batters.
Schmidt was 4-for-5 with three RBI and three runs, while Stephens finished 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run. All nine Tigers in the starting lineup collected at least one hit, with five individuals collecting multiple base knocks in the win.
Fort Hays State will return to Larks Park for a pair of home series over the next two weeks, starting with a three-game set against Northwest Missouri State April 16-17. The Tigers and Bearcats will battle in a single game Friday evening beginning at 5 p.m. before facing off in a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.
The Fort Hays State baseball team took both games of a Friday doubleheader at Missouri Western (April 9). The Tigers never trailed in a 12-4 win in game one before rattling off 21 hits in a 13-5 win in game two, their most hits in a single game in more than eight years (2/13/13).
The Tigers moved to 4-20 overall and 4-16 in MIAA play with the sweep, while the Griffons dipped to 8-18 on the year and 6-14 in conference competition.
Game 1 – Fort Hays State 12, Missouri Western 4
Fort Hays State opened the weekend with a solid all-around performance in game one. The Tigers never trailed while tallying 12 hits, committing zero errors and allowing just four Griffon runs.
After neither side collected a base hit in the first, Fort Hays State got on the board with a run in the second. Grant Schmidt led off with a single before moving up on a pair of groundouts. Traelon Yarbrough came through with a two-out RBI single back up the middle, plating Schmidt and giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers tacked on four runs on a Garrett Stephens grand slam in the third inning, the catcher’s fifth home run of the season.
Missouri Western responded with one run in the bottom of the third before Fort Hays State added two more in the fourth on a Kade Wallace double. The Tigers added another run in the fifth when Yarbrough opened a two-out rally with an infield single. Griffin Brunson followed two batters later with a single through the left side, plating Yarbrough and stretching the Tiger lead to 8-3.
After allowing a home run in the bottom of the fourth, starting pitcher Jake Campbell (3-3) retired 14 of the final 16 batters he faced. The righty finished the game with a line of 8.0 innings pitched, four runs, six hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
The Tigers pushed across four insurance runs in the top of the ninth after loading the bases with just one out. Brunson came through with an RBI single before three runs came in on a pair of Griffon throwing errors, giving the Tigers a 12-4 advantage.
Jacob Ensz came in to toss the ninth, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out two batters and getting out of the jam with a ground ball to first.
Drake Angeron, Stephens, Yarbrough and Brunson all collected two hits in the win, with Stephens driving in a team-high four RBI.
Game 2 – Fort Hays State 13, Missouri Western 5
The Tigers kept things rolling on offense in game two, erupting for 21 hits and 13 runs to complete the doubleheader sweep. Jacob Bouzide was 6-for-6 with two RBI, three runs and a home run, the most hits in a single game for a Tiger since 2005 (Dallas Christison at Colorado Mines, 5/8/05).
Padraic Walsh (1-0) was effective on the mound in his second start of the season, surrendering five runs while scattering seven hits and three walks alongside two strikeouts over 6.2 innings on the bump. Jake Steinbring allowed just one hit over the final 2.1 innings of work.
The Tigers took an early lead with one run in the first when Grant Schmidt singled home Bouzide. Missouri Western tied things up in the bottom of the first before taking its first lead of the day with three runs in the home half of the sixth.
Fort Hays State had baserunners in each of the next three innings, but couldn’t push across any runs until the fifth inning. Drake Angeron led off with a single before Jacob Bouzide drilled his second home run of the season, narrowing the deficit to 4-3. Jacob Pryor gave the Tigers a 5-4 lead with a two-RBI single later in the inning, plating Garrett Stephens and Grant Schmidt.
Missouri Western tied things up at 5-5 in the fifth before FHSU went on top for good with six runs in the sixth. Kade Wallace opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly before Stephens reached on a two-out error, scoring an unearned run. Pryor followed with an RBI single to right before Traelon Yarbrough drove in a pair with a single up the middle. Ed Scott capped off the inning with a base knock to right, plating Yarbrough and giving the Tigers an 11-5 lead.
Pryor added two more RBI with is first home run as a Tiger in the top of the eighth, plating Schmidt and pushing the FHSU lead to 13-5.
All nine Tiger starters collected at least one hit, with seven scoring at least one run. Pryor finished game two 4-for-5 with a team-high four RBI and two runs.