Holding their number one MIAA conference ranking, the #4 Emporia State University baseball team swept unranked
Missouri Western State University on Tuesday, winning the double header, 5-2 and 11-7.
“They’re doing great. It’s an unbelievable club. I don’t know if we have the most talent in the country, but we’re finding ways to win,” said Head Coach Bob Fornelli. “They always believe they’re going to win games and then they do that.”
Winning game one smoothly, the first Hornet run was from a triple by senior Parker Amos. After that, the Hornets scored three runs in the third inning and one more in the sixth.
The Griffons attempted a comeback scoring one run in the seventh and loading the bases, but left each runner stranded at the end allowing the Hornets were able to come away with the win.
“At times, we may get laid back a little too much,” said Senior Outfielder Dillon Hazlett. “But we always rein it back in and get the job done.”
The second game was a little rockier, with the Griffons threatening from the first inning, making one run. The Hornets had a rough start with starting pitcher Derek Brooks throwing 38 pitches and the Hornets making two errors. The Hornets offense came out, however, and took the lead with two runs in the first.
“Whenever (Brooks) is not down in the zone, he struggles a little bit,” said Senior Catcher David Allbritton. “But when he is down in the zone, no one can hit him.”
Brooks improved his pitching for the next three innings only allowing two hits and shutting down the Griffon offense. ESU then went on a hitting drought for three innings, allowing the Griffons to tie the game.
“We’ve got to come out and do a better job of closing the game,” Allbritton said. “Instead of giving up a few runs… but we got lucky and had built up more runs on them.”
Hazlett opened up the Hornet scoring by hitting a double and stealing third before stealing home on a wild pitch. The Hornets then had a five run eighth inning that giving them a little cushion going into the ninth that the Griffons could not overcome.
“We found a way to battle through it,” Fornelli said. “It’s a big opportunity for us to win two games, and we were able to do it.”