Blue Tigers Drop Two to Northwest Missouri
MARYVILLE, MO -- Blake Jones took a no-hitter into the ninth, but two Northwest Missouri hits led to the difference-making run, as the Bearcats completed a sweep of a Sunday doubleheader over the Lincoln baseball team. Northwest Missouri won that second game, 1-0, following a 10-2 victory over the Blue Tigers in Sunday's first game.
Lincoln had outhit Northwest Missouri, 6-0, entering the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday's second game, with Andrew St. Pierre having accounted for three of those hits. The others came from Kyle Henke, Cody Huff and Cody Plassmeyer, but none led to runs as the score was deadlocked at 0-0 heading into the final frame. The lead-off batter for NWMSU fouled out, but the next connected on a single up the middle and advanced to second on the throw. The inning's third batter then ended the game, driving a base hit that allowed the only score of the contest.
The Blue Tigers advanced a runner to second just once in the contest, a defensive struggle in which both teams had difficulty along the base lines. In the eighth inning, Plassmeyer and St. Pierre both singled, giving Lincoln its best scoring opportunity of the game, but a fly out ended that threat.
Jones struck out seven batters while allowing just those two hits and one run in a complete game performance. He pitched six three-up, three down frames, including a stretch where he retired 16 straight batters. Huff led the LU defense with seven putouts while Jonathan Grishman had six and Plassmeyer had five. Clint Cashen and Caleb Kemna each had two assists.
In the first game of the day, Lincoln took a 2-1 lead into the fifth frame of the seven-inning contest, but six NWMSU runs helped the Bearcats pull away for the win. The Blue Tigers had initially taken the lead in the first inning when an error allowed Colby Shepherd to score from second base. After the Bearcats tied the game in the bottom of the second, the Blue Tigers scored again in the third on an RBI single by Cashen that allowed Shepherd to score his second run of the game.
Chris Pfau began the game on the mound and pitched quite well up until that fateful fifth inning. Pfau struck out seven in 4.2 innings of work. Joshua Register, Darren Lasley and St. Pierre each also saw time on the mound, with Lasley contributing a strikeout.
Pfau also led Lincoln at the plate, generating two of LU's eight hits. The others were courtesy of Cashen, Shepherd, St. Pierre, Kemna, Henke and Martin Gulley. Cashen also had a team-high eight putouts while Kemna led Lincoln with five assists.
Sunday's games marked the end of the 2012 campaign for both teams. Northwest Missouri finished the season with an 18-32 overall record and a 17-23 mark in MIAA play while Lincoln ended the year 8-40 overall and 8-32 in the league.