Blue Tigers Defeat Missouri Southern to Split Season Series
JEFFERSON CITY -- Chris Pfau threw seven strikeouts and Andrew St. Pierre collected three hits as the Lincoln baseball team defeated Missouri Southern, 8-1, in the Blue Tigers' final home game of the season.
The win came in the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday, with Missouri Southern claiming the first, 9-2. It was the second twinbill split of the weekend for the two teams, giving LU a split in its season series with MSSU.
Pfau gave up just two hits in the second game, with both coming in the top of the fourth. A single, a groundout, and a wild pitch advanced MSSU's lead-off batter to third base, and he scored the first run of the game on a groundout in the next at-bat. That represented the lone blemish of the contest for Pfau, who had six 1-2-3 innings and faced just four batters in the other two innings.
Lincoln collected 13 hits in the win, with most coming in the fifth and sixth innings, when the Blue Tigers scored all of their runs. In the fifth inning, Caleb Kemna led off with a walk, then reached third on a base hit from Colby Shepherd. St. Pierre then began the biggest play of the afternoon for Lincoln, hitting a line drive deep into centerfield, scoring Kemna. The Lions' outfielder ran over to get the ball to hold St. Pierre and Shepherd, but the ball slipped out of his hands and rolled further back into the outfield, allowing Shepherd to reach third. The outfielder then attempted to throw the ball into the infield to keep the score tied at one, but his toss went wide and high, allowing St. Pierre to reach second and Shepherd to give Lincoln its first lead and the momentum for the rest of the game.
That brought up Pfau, who also served as the Blue Tigers' designated hitter. He helped his own cause with a double that plated St. Pierre. Later in the inning, Logan Smith stole second and reached third on a wild pitch, eventually scoring on a double by Kyle Williams, giving Lincoln the 4-1 lead.
With one out and runners on first and third in the sixth, St. Pierre hit a double into left centerfield that allowed Kemna to score his second run of the game. Pfau then hit a bases-clearing triple, bringing in both St. Pierre and Shepherd, and later scored himself on a base hit by Cashen.
St. Pierre finished with three hits, two RBI and two runs scored while Shepherd, Pfau and Cashen each had two hits for Lincoln.
The victory came on senior day at Lincoln, as the Blue Tigers held a ceremony in between games to honor its four seniors: Pfau, Kyle Henke, Cody Plassmeyer and Taylor Klugman.
In the first game of the twinbill, Lincoln got on the board first, as Cashen drove home Smith with a single through the right side. After MSSU tied the game with a pair of unearned runs in the second, LU tied the game in the third on a sacrifice fly.
That was it for the scoring for Lincoln, however, as Missouri Southern kept the Blue Tigers off the board the rest of the way. MSSU scored seven runs in the final four innings of the seven-frame contest, including five in a fifth inning that featured hits by each of the first six batters.
Plassmeyer led Lincoln with two hits in three at-bats while Kemna, Cashen, Smith, Henke, Pfau and Martin Gulley also had one hit apiece. Cashen finished with two RBI while Smith and Pfau each scored runs.
Lincoln is now 7-37 on the season and 7-28 in the MIAA following Saturday's results. Missouri Southern now stands at 28-18 overall and 19-17 in league play. The series split was the first of the season for Lincoln.
With its home slate now concluded, Lincoln will take to the road for its final series of the season, as the Blue Tigers will head to Maryville, Missouri to face Northwest Missouri. The teams will play a four-game series beginning Friday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m.