Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics
EMPORIA, Kan. – Emporia State found a way to win for the eighth time in their last nine elimination games with a 9-6 victory over Lindenwood in the third game of their MIAA Opening Round Series. With the win the Hornets will advance to CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City on Thursdayt to play Central Missouri.
The Lions got on the board in the top of the first with an unearned run. Nathan Prindle hit a one out double and went to third when Wade Rothermich reached on a throwing error by Cody Bobbit that pulled Evan Koehler off the base at first. With runners at the corners Drew Quinones hit a chopper down the first base line that was ruled fair and allowed Prindle to score on ground out.
Emporia State took the lead in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded Jordan Hodges delivered a double to right center that plated Koehler and Bobbit. The Hornets added a run in the third when Dalton Wheat led off with a single, stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. He was able to score when Jonny Hodges ground ball to third was bobbled by Ryan Light to give the Hornets a 3-1 lead.
After the first inning run, Hornet starter Jarrod Miller did not allow a run until the fifth inning. Prindle hit a two out triple and scored on Roterhmich’s infield single. The Hornets answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. Koehler reached when the third strike got past catcher Mike Wilson. He went to second on Jonny Hodges single up the middle and to third on a ground out. He scored on a fielding error by Prindle to give the Hornets a 4-2 lead.
Miller handed the ball over to Shawn Talkington to start the sixth. After hitting the first batter, he retired the side in order to end the inning including his 200th and 201st career strikeouts. Emporia State added two runs in the sixth on an RBI double from Wheat and an RBI single from Koehler. The Lions picked up another run in the top of the seventh on an RBI double from Rothermich to pull within 6-3.
Emporia State went up 9-3 in the bottom of the seventh on two fielder’s choices and a balk. Lindenwood added some drama in the top of the ninth when Wes Degener hit a three run homer to pull the Lions within 9-6 with no one out before Talkington settled down finished off his tenth save of the year.
Wheat was two for five iwth two runs and two RBI while Jordan Hodges went one for four with three RBI and a run scored. Miller picked up the win allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits while striking out two in 5.0 innings. Talkington worked the final 4.0 innings for the save, surrendering four runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
Emporia State will play Central Missouri in the first round of the double elimination MIAA Tournament on Thursday. First pitch from Community America Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan. is set for 2:30 p.m.