(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – Fourth ranked Mules Baseball (12-2, 9-1 MIAA) split an MIAA doubleheader with Nebraska-Kearney (9-8, 9-6 MIAA) Friday at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field, winning game one 4-1 before dropping the night game 6-4.
The loss in game two snapped the Mules MIAA winning streak at 31 games.
The Mules started off the seven-inning game one quickly, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead. Samuel Domingue plated the Mules first run, hitting a solo home run to left field, before John Oropeza was hit by a Loper pitch to walk in another run. The homer from Domingue marked his first in a Mule uniform. Tucker Cross scored the third run after he hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Brad Wilson.
Nebraska-Kearney got on the board in the top of the second, scoring a single run courtesy of homer run from Chandler Klute, to cut the UCM lead to 3-1.
The Mules added another run in the bottom of the fifth when Oropeza doubled down the left field line, driving in Wilson, to increase the lead to 4-1, a lead they would not relinquish.
Oropeza led the Mules in game one, batting in two runs while going a perfect 1-1 at the plate. He also had 10 putouts in the field to lead the Mules fielding efforts.
As a team the Mules outhit the Lopers 5-3 and committed two errors.
Kurtis Schuyler picked up his second win of the season on the mound to improve to 2-1. He pitched 6.2 innings and struck out two while only allowing one earned run in the contest. Zach Davis struck out one in the top of the seventh and earned the save. Drew Postgate took the loss for Nebraska-Kearney.
In the night cap, a nine inning contest, the Mules took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Oropeza singled to left field, driving in Kyle Grieshaber.
Nebraska-Kearney answered in the top of the third though, tying the contest at one on a single by Brian Wuest.
The Lopers were able to snag a 2-1 lead two innings later in the top of the fifth when Max Ayoub homered to left but the Mules came right back and knotted the contest at two in the bottom of the seventh on a single to center field by Seth Wheeler.
Nebraska-Kearney once again responded, scoring a single run in the top of the eighth to regain a 3-2 lead.
The Mules fought back, plating two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. The scoring started when Wilson found a gap up the middle for a single, driving in Domingue to tie the game at three. Kevin Gratza then singled up the middle to score Grieshaber and give the Mules the lead.
That lead would be short lived though, as the Lopers plated three runs in the top of the ninth to reclaim the lead at 6-4. Nebraska-Kearney got the tying run when Ayoub singled to right field before Danny Droll batted in the go-ahead run on a ground-out to third. Klute added another run when he singled to the pitcher.
The Mules had two on in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t get the runners across the plate, resulting in the 6-4 win for the Lopers.
UCM was out hit in the game 10-6 while each team committed two errors.
Zach Davis took the loss for UCM, dropping him to 0-1 on the season while the Lopers Dalton Cowen got the win on the mound.
The Mules will look to bounce back Saturday when they close out the series against the Lopers with a single, nine-inning contest at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. A pay-per-view webcast will be available for the game courtesy of AmericaOneSports.com and the UCM Media Network.