Courtesy: Emporia State Athletics
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Dean Long hit a three run walk-off home run to give Emporia State a 10-9 come from behind victory over #17 Missouri Southern in the first championship game of the MIAA Tournament Championship. With the win the Hornets and Lions will meet on Sunday for a winner take all championship game.
Southern took a 1-0 lead in the first with an unearned run before the Hornets took their first lead at 2-1 on a wild pitch and an error. The Lions scored two in the fourth inning and added another run in the sixth inning to go up 4-2. Price Jacobs gave the Hornets a 5-4 lead with a three run homer in the bottom of the seventh.
The Lions answered with four runs in the top of the eighth to take an 8-5 lead. Evan Koehler pulled the Hornets within two runs with a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Mo. Southern got an insurance run to lead 9-6 headed to the bottom of the ninth.
Jacobs led off with a single through the left side only to be erased when Cody Bobbitt reached on a fielder’s choice. Levi Parker then walked and pinch hitter Aaron Gile delivered and RBI single up the middle. Justin Harris hit a grounder to short that forced Gile at second. With a base open Long launched a towering fly ball that cleared the wall in left and force the if needed game.
Price and Koehler both went three for five with a home run as Price finished with two RBI. Long was one for six with two runs scored and three RBI. Grant Bachura worked the final 1.1 innings, giving up a run on two hits for the win. Jake Eikleberry worked the first 7.0 innings allowing four runs on 12 hits.
This is the second straight year the Hornets have come back to force and if needed game in the MIAA Championship and the tenth win in their last 11 elimination games.
First pitch for Sunday’s MIAA Championship game is set for 1:00 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kan.
Long tied former Hornet Eric Shortell’s MIAA record of 23 home runs in a season set in 2008. He is still one home run shy of the Emporia State record of 24 home runs set by Steve Michael in 1987.