Baseball takes opener against Mo. West

By FHSU SPORTS INFORMATION

The Fort Hays State baseball team opened its series against Missouri Western with a decisive 14-3 victory in seven innings Thursday evening (March 28) at Larks Park. The Tigers (19-13, 7-11 MIAA) used a strong start from Ty Riley and a consistent offensive attack that saw all nine batters in the lineup record at least one hit and score at least one run.

Riley set the tone in the top of the first by retiring the side in order, one of three one-to-three innings in the game for the Griffons (14-16, 6-12 MIAA). Fort Hays State jumped in front right away when Cesar Saavedraled off the bottom of the inning with a double to left center. Brady Kreutzer followed with a single before Isaiah Ural drove in the first run with a groundout. Elliott Herrmann later made it 2-0 with an RBI single through the right side.

The Griffons had two runners in scoring position with one out in the second, but Riley worked out of the jam with a pop up and a strikeout. The Tigers then took complete control with a seven-run second inning.

Fort Hays State scored all seven runs with two outs in the inning, with Kreutzer working a two-out walk to load the bases. Ural followed with a single through the left side to plate Zane Knox and Trey DeGarmo before Herrmann added a two-RBI single of his own. After singling to start the inning, Knox delivered a three-RBI double to right later in the frame to push the lead to 9-0.

Missouri Western answered back with a pair of runs in the third, one of which was unearned, before the Tigers tacked on an unearned run of their own in the home half of the inning to make the score 10-2.

Riley retired the side in the fourth and again in the sixth while working around a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, ultimately retiring 11-of-12 batters during a stretch spanning the end of the third through the start of the seventh.

Fort Hays State left men on base in the fourth and fifth innings before manufacturing four more runs on two hits in the sixth. Justin Lipka reached on an infield single before Knox drew a walk. A single from Sebastian Burgos loaded the bases for DeGarmo, who drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. Saavedra then reached on an error that scored two runs before Kreutzer helped FHSU stretch the lead to 14-2 with an RBI groundout.

Riley picked up his seventh strikeout of the game in the seventh inning before ending things on a ground ball to third. Riley (3-2) allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and one walk while needing just 97 pitches to throw a complete game.

The Tigers finished the game with 13 hits, including two each from Ural, Herrmann, Lipka and Knox. Ural drove in four runs, with Herrmann and Knox each driving in three. DeGarmo scored a team-high three runs, with Kreutzer, Lipka and Knox all crossing home plate twice.

The Tigers and Griffons will resume their series Friday (March 29) at 5 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend on Saturday (March 30) beginning at 1 p.m.

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