CMU Baseball Wins Fourth Straight
JOPLIN, MO -- The Central Methodist baseball team ran its win streak to four games after picking up victories over Missouri Southern State and Ottawa on Saturday at Joe Becker Stadium.
The Eagles defeated the Lions 8-6 before holding off the Braves 5-3. With its win over Missouri Southern State, the Green and Black improve to 3-2 this season against NCAA Division II competition.
In game one, Central Methodist (4-2) started things off with three runs in the first inning, all with two outs. Jesse Zellner doubled to right center, scoring Shane Lowe for the first run. Zellner then scored off a T.J. Singh single before Singh scored on a passed ball.
Tee Helsel led off the bottom of the second for Missouri Southern State (8-7) with a home run, but the Eagles' Kyle Poytner countered with a two-run bomb over the left field fence in the third.
"I've been seeing the ball really well to start the season, and my swing has felt great," Poynter said.
Missouri Southern State tallied three runs in the bottom of the frame to cut their deficit to 5-4, but the Lions would get no closer. Mike Allen and Daniel Peters each had RBI hits in the top of the eighth inning. Allen later scored on a Mike Wagner RBI walk. Missouri Southern State found two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but a strikeout and groundout ended the threat and the comeback attempt.
Wagner (2-0) earned the win on the mound with five innings of relief, allowing two earned runs on six hits while fanning nine batters. Rhett Quinlan pitched the first four innings of the nine-inning affair but got a no decision. He allowed four earned runs on five hits.
"Rhett was pitching very well, but when he got into a high pitch count, I came in and finished the game with nine strikeouts," Wagner said.
Poynter was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored. Peters and Zellner were each 2-for-5 at the plate.
The Lions' Brett Abell (0-2) suffered the loss after giving up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits in seven and two thirds of an inning on the mound.
Helsel went 3-5 and added an RBI and a run scored.
Lowe took the first pitch of game two against Ottawa (4-7) over the left field fence to get the Eagles on the board early. The lead swelled to 3-0 in the third following Neil Hansen's RBI single through the left side, scoring Poynter and Neal DeMartin.
The Braves trimmed the margin to one run after plating two in the bottom of the third inning. Cody Parks and Kaylem Quinn each posted RBI singles before Josh Reynolds tied the contest in the sixth with a RBI single to right field.
Wagner answered with a game-winning sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh, which scored Hansen. The Eagles added an insurance run in the next at-bat when a Lowe double plated Dustin Ray.
Pitcher Drew Greiwe (1-0) recorded the win. He threw six innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Colby Stack notched his first save of the season with one inning of two-hit, scoreless relief.
Peters, DeMartin and Hansen were each 2-for-3 at the plate. Lowe was 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored.
"Today was a great day for the team coming away with two wins and starting this season with a nice little win streak," Poynter mentioned.
Tyler Wilson (1-2) took the defeat after pitching two innings out of the bullpen and giving up two earned runs on two hits. Jake Kolenda started the game on the mound but received a no decision after pitching five innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on 10 hits.
Quinn, Greg Wisner and Dustin Balmer had two hits apiece.
"It felt great to win both games," Wagner commented.
Central Methodist travels to Tabor on Tuesday, March 12. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT.