EMPORIA, Kansas – The Northwest Missouri State University baseball team fell victim to a walk-off ninth-inning hit by Emporia State, falling 4-3 in game two of the three-day weekend series.
Following a stalemate in the first two innings, Northwest took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning following an RBI single by junior infielder Jacob Pinkerton. Redshirt freshman Caden Diel scored on the play.
Emporia State answered in the home half of the fourth inning, plating a sole runner and evening up the score at a run apiece at the halfway mark.
After a scoreless fifth by both squads, the Hornet offense crossed another single runner on an RBI single, taking their first lead of the afternoon 2-1.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, junior outfielder Donovan Warren blasted a solo home run over the left-center field wall to even up the score (2-2) heading into the final two innings of play.
In the eighth, after Northwest had a one-two-three inning, Emporia State retook the lead on a wild pitch that allowed a Hornet baserunner to score from third base. Entering the final inning of the contest, Emporia State led 3-2.
The explosive Bearcat offense put together a one-run rally in the top of the ninth to extend the game into the bottom of the inning. Junior outfielder Matt Gastner led off the inning by slapping a triple down to deep, right-center field giving Northwest life on the base paths. After a quick out, pinch hitter Trevor Dooley singled through the left side of the infield, scoring Gastner from third. As the second and third out were earned, the Bearcats stranded two runners on base in the inning.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Emporia State doubled to center field, putting the winning run 180-feet from home plate. After a quick second out, the Hornet offense singled to right field, allowing the runner on second to score and a walk-off win for the Hornets, 4-3.
On the mound, junior Spencer Hanson got the start for Northwest, dealing seven innings. In 30 batters faced, Hanson allowed two runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out six. Senior Ethan Griswold relieved Hanson in the eighth, pitching the final two innings of play. Griswold allowed two runs (two earned) on two hits.
Northwest will be back in action for game three of the three-day weekend series Sunday, Feb 8. First pitch is set for noon.
— Northwest Athletics —