(TAHLEQUAH, Okla.) – After nearly two weeks off because of inclement weather, the eighth-ranked Central Missouri Mules baseball team got back in to action with a doubleheader sweep of Northeastern State on Sunday afternoon at Rousey Field.
The Mules won the opener 6-2 and completed the sweep with a 16-11 win in the nightcap.
The Mules (8-1, 5-0 MIAA) jumped out to a 1-0 first inning lead in game one when John Oropeza singled home Trevor Jones. UCM tacked on three more in the third to make it 4-0. Kevin Gratza had an RBI groundout to score the first run and Chase Graskewicz doubled home two more.
The RiverHawks (6-6, 6-6 MIAA) got on the board in the fourth with a pair of unearned runs. Trent Wilkins singled home Preston Cash and David Weber to pull NSU within two at 4-2.
UCM added a single run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Jones that scored Dusty Maas. The Mules added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Oropeza homered to left field to make it 6-2. It was his second home run of the season.
Jake Heissler (3-0) earned the win in relief for UCM. He allowed two hits, while striking out four and walking three in 1.1 innings of relief. Zach Davis picked up his second save of the season with two scoreless innings of relief. Starter Kurtis Schuyler allowed two unearned runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Craig George (2-1) took the loss for Northeastern State after giving up five runs, two earned, on five hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked six.
The Mules scored four first inning runs in game two to take an early lead. Kyle Grieshaber had a two-run single to get UCM on the board. Oropeza’s RBI groundout made it 3-0 and Hunter Johnson added an RBI bunt for a 4-0 lead.
The RiverHawks came right back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the frame highlighted by a two-run homer off the bat of Cody Robinson. NSU tied the game with a single run in the third. Kegan Knight’s RBI groundout scored Chad Davidson, who had tripled earlier in the inning.
The Mules went back in front in the top of the fourth with three runs. Tucker Cross gave UCM the lead with a sacrifice fly to center. Seth Wheeler scored on a throwing error by the second baseman and Grieshaber added a sacrifice fly to make it 7-4.
Central Missouri added three more in the top of the fifth for a 10-4 lead. Cross drove in his second and third runs of the game with a double to the gap in left center and he later scored on an RBI single off the bat of Samuel Domingue.
Northeastern State rallied for four runs in the bottom of the frame to pull within 10-8. Robinson hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot.
The Mules scored one in the sixth when Hunter Johnson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two in the seventh on an Oropeza single to left to open a 13-8 advantage.
The RiverHawks again answered the call, this time scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh on a two-out pinch hit home run by Cody Begovich.
UCM got one run back in the top of the 8th on an RBI single from Grieshaber to make it 14-11. The Mules tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth when Seth Wheeler belted his first career home run.
Andrew Urban (1-0) picked up the win in relief for UCM. He allowed five runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Blake Kolons earned his first career save after tossing two scoreless innings of relief. Chris Fitzpatrick allowed six runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings as the starter.
Dymin Morillo (0-1) took the loss for the RiverHawks after allowing nine runs on six hits in 4.1 innings. He fanned three and walked four.
Oropeza finished with five hits and five RBI on the day, while Jones had four hits and Grieshaber drove in four and Cross knocked in three.
The series wraps up Monday with a single nine-inning game beginning at 12 p.m.