FHSU Sports Information Department
BOLIVAR, Mo. – The Fort Hays State baseball team saw a pair of late leads disappear in the final innings of a doubleheader Friday afternoon (March 10) against Southwest Baptist, losing both games in walk-off fashion. The Tigers move to 7-13 overall and 1-8 in the MIAA while SBU improves to 13-6 this season and 4-5 in the conference following the sweep.
Game One: Southwest Baptist 12, Fort Hays State 11
The Tigers used 14 hits to score 11 runs in the first contest of the day, but the bullpen squandered a 10-4 lead by giving up eight runs in the final four innings. The Bearcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead behind a pair of unearned runs in the first, but Dayton Pomeroy started the comeback with a leadoff home run in the top of the second, his team-leading fifth long ball of the season. FHSU tied things up in the third when Ty Redington led off with a single to center. After advancing to third on a failed pickoff, the third baseman scored on a bunt single from Jake Lanferman.
Fort Hays State erupted for six runs in the top of the fourth after a pitch hit Ryan Imber to open the frame. Jared Bogosian laid down a sacrifice bunt but was safe after the Bearcat throw was late to second. Redington plated Imber with a bunt single two batters later, with Nick Hammeke following with a RBI single to left. Pomeroy picked up his second RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly later in the inning before Clayton Basgall loaded the bases with an infield single. Trevor Hughes followed with a pinch-hit double down the right field line, pushing two runs across. Basgall scored the final run after scampering home on a wild pitch.
Marcus Altman reached on a one-out single in the top of the fifth before coming in to score on a double from Redington, putting the Tigers in front 9-2.
The Bearcats started their comeback in the bottom of the fifth, scoring two runs in the inning before adding three in the sixth, one in the seventh and four in the ninth.
Fort Hays State tacked on another run in the top of the sixth when Pomeroy drew a leadoff walk. After moving to third on a single from Basgall, the junior came in to score on a wild pitch. The Tigers scored their final run in the top of the ninth when Redington reached on a two-out error. Hammeke made the Bearcats pay for their mistake, crushing a RBI double in the next at-bat.
The Bearcats took advantage of five walks and an error to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth, winning the game with just one hit in the inning.
Tiger starter Sam Capps kept the Bearcats at bay through five innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits and three walks. Redington had his second straight three-hit game, scoring three runs. Hammeke also strung together three hits, driving in two. Basgall finished 2-for-5 with a run.
Game Two: Southwest Baptist 3, Fort Hays State 2
The Tigers dropped another heartbreaker in the nightcap, going down after a walk-off home run handed SBU a 3-2 win. Alex Ruxlow (3-4) took the hard-luck loss after holding the Bearcats scoreless through seven innings. The junior surrendered eight hits in the complete-game loss, striking out one and walking none.
The game remained scoreless until FHSU broke through in the top of the seventh, taking advantage of a leadoff hit by pitch. Jason Nicholson bunted over Trevor Hughes before the catcher came in to score on a single from Marcus Altman.
Altman came through with another clutch hit in the ninth, tying things up at two after the Bearcats took the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Hughes once again reached to lead off the inning, this time with a single past the second baseman. Another sacrifice bunt and a groundout moved pinch runner Colton Helm to third with two outs. Altman delivered with a single through the hole at short, driving in Helm. The Bearcat pitching staff loaded the bases with a walk and another hit by pitch but got out of the jam with a flyout.
Altman was the only Tiger with multiple hits, driving in both Tiger runs. The rest of the team combined to go 0-for-11 with runners on base.
The Tigers will return home for six-straight games at Larks Park starting Tuesday (March 14) when FHSU hosts Newman in a non-conference matchup at 3 p.m.