The Emporia State baseball team batted their way to a run rule in the seventh inning against Sterling College Tuesday night, winning the game 15-3.
The Hornets scored nine runs in the first inning to set the pace for the remainder of the game.
“We had a big first inning which helped,” said Head Coach Bob Fornelli. “We played hard, did the right things and will have a couple good practices before the big weekend.”
ESU showed offensive dominance with 18 hits on the night.
Conner Crumbliss went 3-3 at bat with three runners batted in. Jeremy Francis hit 3-4 with two RBI. Kevin Wempe went 3-2 with two RBI and Mike Sharp went 2-2 with two RBI and hit the only home run for the Hornets. Jacob White finished with three runs scored.
“They kept throwing a lot of fast balls over the plate and if you do that to our team we are going to get a lot of hits,” Crumbliss said. “If they throw it over the plate, we are going to hit it.”
The Hornets held their own on defense, with five different pitchers getting 13 strike outs.
On the mound for ESU, Tyler Applehans struck out all six batters in the first and second innings to get his seventh win. Ben Graham, Colby Killian, Cole Moore and Diego Soto all got time on the mound.
“We had not played since last weekend so we wanted to run guys out there we know are going to pitch this weekend,” Fornelli said.
With the win, the Hornets are now 38-6 overall and are 24-3 in the MIAA.
“I think we have it locked already for first place but we need to just keep winning so we can host the regional here,” Francis said.
The Hornets prepare now for a three game series against 19-9 Missouri Southern.
“We have a big weekend against a good Missouri Southern and if we don’t play well we will come home with a broken heart,” Fornelli said. “We need to play hard, play fast and do the little things to be successful.”
ESU will play the first game at 6 p.m. April 24 at Joplin, Mo.
Doug Irby/The Bulletin