By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION
Fort Hays State completed the series sweep of Northwest Missouri State by taking both games of the doubleheader Sunday afternoon (Apr. 18) at Larks Park. Fort Hays exploded for a total of 24 runs in the twin bill, including five home runs and 16 hits. With the two wins, Fort Hays State has now swept back-to-back series running its win streak to six games.
Grant Schmidt led the Tigers by going 3-for-6 at the plate and recording five RBIs on the day. Ed Scott and Griffin Brunson were right behind Schmidt, contributing four RBIs of their own during the doubleheader.
The Tigers moved to 8-20 overall and 8-16 in MIAA action with the sweep while the Bearcats fall to 12-18 overall and 10-14 in conference. Fort Hays State looks to continue their six game winning streak with another home series next weekend. The Tigers will square off with the Washburn Ichabods in a three game set beginning with game one Friday night (Apr. 23).
Game One – Fort Hays State 10, Northwest Missouri 8
After the Bearcats took an early lead in the first inning with a run, Fort Hays State answered back with a two-run homer by Grant Schmidt in the bottom of the first. Northwest Missouri countered with a solo home run in the second and another solo home run in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead momentarily. Once again, Fort Hays took the lead back with another two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Garrett Stephens belted his sixth long ball of the year to put the Tigers ahead 4-3.
The Tigers did the majority of their damage in the bottom of the fifth inning. After three straight singles from Tyler Olson, Griffin Brunson, and Drake Angeron to load the bases, Jacob Bouzide hit a fourth straight single to score Olson. Kade Wallace picked up a productive out with a groundout to the shortstop, scoring Brunson from third. With the bases loaded once again after an intentional walk to Schmidt, Corbin Truslow and Ed Scott were hit by pitches back-to-back to cap a four-run inning for the Tigers. The Bearcats managed to cut the Tiger lead down to one at 8-7 with a four-run inning of their own in the top of the sixth.
FHSU added two more runs over the final three frames, which proved to be the difference. Bouzide and Angeron both picked up RBIs on groundouts in the sixth and eighth. The Bearcats hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth to draw within one again, but Angeron’s RBI in the bottom half pushed the lead back to two.
Padriac Walsh (2-0) picked up his second victory of the season going 5.1 innings. Walsh allowed seven runs on nine hits and struck out three. Jake Steinbring was the first Tiger out of the bullpen appearing in the sixth inning. He pitched an effective 2.2 innings of relief, surrendering just one run on two hits and striking out two. Jacob Ensz picked up his fourth save of the year by shutting the door on the Bearcats in the ninth inning with a groundout and two strikeouts.
Game Two – Fort Hays State 14, Northwest Missouri 3
Fort Hays State completed the three-game sweep by run-ruling Northwest Missouri in seven innings. The Tigers spotted themselves a 14-run lead before the Bearcats were able to get on the board with three in the sixth.
Fort Hays State went to work early, capitalizing on three Bearcat errors in the bottom of the first. With runners on first and second and no outs, Kade Wallace reached on a fielder’s choice and Angeron scored on a throwing error. After Grant Schmidt was beaned by a pitch and another Bearcat error allowed Garrett Stephens to reach safely, the Tigers loaded the bases for Ed Scott. He came through with a two-RBI single through the left side. Tyler Olson followed up with a two-RBI double, cementing a five-run inning for FHSU.
In the next inning for the Tigers, Wallace blasted a solo home run for his sixth long ball of the season, putting the Tigers ahead 6-0.
In the bottom of the third, Fort Hays State put the hammer down with seven runs on three hits. Stephens, Scott, and Truslow all drew walks to start the inning. Griffin Brunson stepped up to the plate and left no-doubt as he smashed a grand slam over the wall in left center for his first home run in a Tiger uniform. The damage was not done as FHSU continued to pour it on. With two outs, Bouzide singled and Wallace walked to keep the inning alive for the Tigers. Schmidt added three more runs to the lead with a three-run homer, putting the Tigers ahead 13-0.
Fort Hays State plated its 14th run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Scott reached on another Bearcat fielding error, allowing Schmidt to score from second. NWMSU got on the board with an RBI double and a two-run home run in the top of the sixth, but Fort Hays had built too big of a lead and shut the door in the seventh for the run-rule win.
Hunter Parker (2-2) was credited with his second straight win after going six solid innings on the mound. Parker allowed just three runs on seven hits and struck out three Bearcat batters. Ryan Ruder pitched the final inning facing the minimum to close out game two
Fort Hays State scored 12 or more runs in their fourth consecutive game as they defeated Northwest Missouri State 12-4 Saturday (Apr. 17) in Hays. The Tigers belted a trio of three-run home runs on their way to a series opening victory. With the win, Fort Hays State improves to 6-20 (6-16 MIAA) while the Bearcats drop to 12-16 (10-12 MIAA).
The Tigers surrendered a run in the first, but were able to get out of the inning with Kade Wallace cutting down a runner at the plate. Fort Hays answered back by scoring two runs in their first plate appearance. After back-to-back errors that placed Jacob Bouzide on second and Kade Wallace on first, Schmidt singled to score Bouzide and get the Tigers on the board. Wallace eventually scored on a wild pitch to put the Tigers ahead 2-1.
Fort Hays State blasted their first of three home runs in the bottom of the second. With two runners on and two outs, Kade Wallace launched a ball over the left field fence for his fifth longball of the year, pushing the Tiger lead to 5-1. In the bottom of the third inning, FHSU hit another three-run home run off the bat of Ed Scott. He lifted a ball over the right-center wall for his second home run of the year and increased the lead for the Tigers to seven runs at 8-1.
Northwest Missouri cut the Fort Hays lead to four with a run in the fourth and a two-run homer in the fifth, but the Tigers sealed the deal with four more runs in the bottom of the eighth. After a leadoff 11-pitch at-bat resulting in a single from Griffin Brunson, then a bunt single by Drake Angeron and a walk by Jacob Bouzide, a Wallace sacrifice fly scored Brunson for his fourth RBI of the game. Schmidt stepped to the plate next and capped the Tiger scoring effort with another three-run blast to left field for his seventh homer of the season, cementing the 12-4 victory for FHSU.
The Tigers were effective with their pitching and defensive efforts as they limited the Bearcats to four runs on nine hits. Jake Campbell (4-3) picked up the win after going six strong innings. Campbell allowed four runs on six hits, while also striking out five. Jacob Ensz relieved in the sixth inning and closed the door the rest of the way to pick up his third save of the year. Ensz shutout the Bearcats for the final three innings, allowing only three hits with one strikeout.