(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – The fourth-ranked Central Missouri Mules held off a late rally from Nebraska-Kearney to win the series finale 9-8 Saturday afternoon at Crane Stadium/Tompkins Field.
With the win, the Mules claimed their ninth straight conference series win dating back to last year.
The Mules (13-2, 10-1 MIAA) got on the board first with a single run in the third inning on a Kyle Grieshaber RBI double. Central Missouri added three more runs in the fifth to make it 4-0. Trevor Jones and Grieshaber scored on an error to make it 3-0 and Tucker Cross added a sacrifice fly to give UCM a four-run cushion.
The Lopers (9-9, 9-7 MIAA) got two runs back in the top of the sixth on Brian Wuest’s two-run home run. UCM came right back with five runs in the bottom half to make it 9-2. Grieshaber drew a bases-loaded walk to start the scoring before John Oropeza laced a two-run double to center to make it 7-2. Kevin Gratza added a sacrifice fly and Chase Graskewicz singled home the final run of the inning.
Nebraska-Kearney came right back though with three runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull within 9-5. The Lopers made things interesting in the ninth, plating three more runs on Wuest’s second home run of the game. Following the home run, Brandon Pacheco singled to bring the go ahead run to the plate. Pacheco went to second on a wild pitch, but Dany Coulombe got Mike Kattula to strike out to end the game and give UCM the 98 win.
Travis Higgs (2-0) got the win for Central Missouri after allowing five runs, only two earned, on five hits in 6.2 innings. Coulombe picked up his first save of the year after coming on to retire the final batter of the game.
Michael Hahn (1-2) took the loss for UNK after giving up one run on three hits in three innings of work.
Grieshaber and Oropeza each finished the day with two hits and two RBI, while Jon Cotter and Jones also had two hits.
The Mules are back in action Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Jefferson City, Mo. for an MIAA doubleheader against Lincoln. First pitch at the LU Baseball Field is scheduled for 12 p.m.