DANIEL BRICKHAUS | Reporter
The men’s baseball team won against the Missouri Western Griffons in two out of three games over the weekend.
The Griffons opened game one with a home run on the very first pitch, but DJ Miller responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the first to tie the game.
Bryce Beckman put the Lions in front with an RBI triple down the left field line in the second inning. Missouri Western tied the game in the top of the third to make it 2-2.
Kolby Schulte opened the bottom of the fifth with a triple to right center and scored two batters later, making it a one-run lead for the Lions.
The Griffons again tied the game in the top of the sixth, but Eric Hipp stopped the bleeding. With two runners on and one out, Hipp struck out the next two batters looking to keep it a 3-3 tie game.
Calvin Nowak drove in Ryan Venne on a double down the right field line to make it 4-3 in favor of the Lions. Again, the Lions were in a jam, but with one out and two runners in scoring position, Hipp got the Griffons to line into a double play to end the inning.
Lindenwood poured on the runs in the bottom of the eighth as the Lions had six-consecutive baserunners to start the inning. In that span, the Lions scored four runs on four hits and two walks. Lindenwood added another run and relied on Michael Cessna to close out the 9-3 win, earning his third save of the year.
Game two, however, was a loss for the Lions.
Kyle Hentis had a strong day on the mound for the Lions as he had seven strikeouts in his 5 and 1/3 innings of work.
The Lions kicked the ball around for a total of eight errors that allowed the Griffons to increase their run total. The two runs for the Lions came in the bottom of the fifth when Kolby Schulte hit an-RBI single to right center, and Kyle Stevens drove in a run on a sacrifice fly.
Lindenwood had a 2-1 lead after five innings and had a chance to close out the sixth inning with a double play, but an error kept the inning alive and the Griffons took the lead with three runs in the inning. The Lions could not gain momentum as Anthony Castaneda struck out 14 Lindenwood batters to improve his record to 6-0 for the Griffons. The final score was 2-5.
Game three was a bounce-back game for the Lions who were led by Blake Beckmann on the hill. Beckmann surrendered a single in the first inning but made a comeback during the next seven innings of work as he did not allow another hit until the ninth inning.
The Lions put runs up in the bottom of the third as DJ Miller broke the tie with an RBI chopper to third base. With the bases loaded, Neil Fischer broke the game open with a two-RBI single up the middle.
Bryce Beckmann drove in the fourth run of the inning, and the Griffons ended the inning with bases loaded. Stevens drove in another run in the bottom of the fourth inning to give Lindenwood a 5-0 lead.
In the next four innings, Beckmann tallied six strikeouts on the bump before surrendering just his second hit of the game in the top of the ninth. The 11 strikeouts for Beckmann is the second-most registered in one game for the Lions in the NCAA era.
The final score for game three was 5-0.
After a three-game set against Missouri Western, the Lions will be taking on Fort Hays State University on Friday, March 29 with a start time of 6 p.m.