Two of the highest scoring games of Mules baseball’s (22-11, 14-7 MIAA) season came over the weekend in a three-game series with Missouri Southern State in Joplin.
The first game of the series resulted in a 4-2 win for the Mules but in no way alluded to the 67 runs the teams combined to score over the next two matchups. Game two saw the Mules take command early leading 9-0 after the top of the third inning. After the Mules quick outburst, the Lions went to work scoring three or more runs in four of the seven remaining innings to win 17-16.
The rubber match of the series was tightly contested through the first four innings. The Mules allowed a grand slam in the first inning but were able to claw back into the game with runs in the first three frames. Leading 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth, the Lions hit their second grand slam of the day and added five more runs to lead 13-3.
The Mules whittled into the lead immediately in the fifth inning with four runs. They also added one in the seventh and two in the eighth. The Lions added three more runs before the Mules came up to bat in the ninth inning trailing, 16-10.
Second baseman Michael Sinks went deep on the first pitch he saw to make the score 16-11. Three singles scored another run and set up centerfielder Mason Janvrin for a three-run home run to bring the Mules within one run at 16-15. A double and walk brought Sinks up for his second at-bat of the inning. He drew a 3-0 count and took the green light pitch deep to give the Mules an 18-16 lead.
Jonathan Sprinkle came in for the save opportunity and struck out two Lions batters to secure his fifth save of the season. Sprinkle was named MIAA Pitcher of the Week for his work against the Lions.
Sinks hit three home runs and became the first Mule to do so since 2007. He went 4-6 with seven RBIs and earned MIAA Hitter of the Week. Shortstop Alex Madera went 4-6 for his 15th multi-hit game of the season. Janvrin and right fielder Erik Webb each knocked in three RBIs. Janvrin has reached base in 33 straight games with Webb right behind him with 32.
The Mules announced Monday they scheduled a midweek home game against Arkansas Tech (25-13, 17-7 GAC) Tuesday at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field.
Both teams got on the board in the first inning with the Mules scoring two on a triple from right fielder Erik Webb. With the Mules leading 3-2 in the fifth, Webb hit a two-run home run to make the lead 5-2. The Mules added four runs over the final four innings and cruised to a 9-3 victory.
The Mules are scheduled to host Lindenwood(19-6, 13-8 MIAA) in a three-game home series this weekend at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field. The series is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m Friday. Game two’s first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday. The series finale is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Sunday.