Northwest baseball loses series finale at Emporia State 8-6

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EMPORIA, Kansas – The Northwest Missouri State University baseball team dropped the final game of the three-day weekend series with Emporia State, 8-6.
After keeping the Northwest offense quiet in the top of the first, Emporia State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, scoring two runs in the home half of the inning on a Bearcat throwing error.
Following stagnant second, third and fourth innings by both squads, Northwest clawed into the Emporia State lead as junior infielder Peter Carlson stepped into the batter’s box and connected with a solo home run to right-center. Heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, the Bearcats trailed 2-1.
The Hornets answered in the bottom of the fifth, plating a solo run and retaking the two-run advantage over the ‘Cats.
In the sixth, Emporia State extended its lead following a two-RBI single hit to deep center field, bringing in two runs making the score 5-1.
The explosive Bearcat offense went to work in the seventh, scoring four runs and evening up the contest at five runs apiece. With two men on and two out, junior designated hitter Matt Gastner blasted his sixth home run of the year, clearing the bases and trimming the ESU lead to 5-4. Next, pinch hitting for Jordan Peck, sophomore Tyler Peters stepped up to the plated and connected with a solo homer to left field, evening the score at five.
Battling back, the Hornets added two runs in the bottom of the seventh and another in the eighth to retake the lead 8-5 over the Bearcats.
With no outs in the ninth, senior first baseman Connor Quick added the third homer of the game for Northwest, drilling one over the left field wall and inching back at the Emporia State lead 8-6. Next up, Gastner drew a walk, but was picked off. The Hornets would earn the second and third outs of the inning, ending the contest 8-6.
Five pitchers made appearances for Northwest with senior Quintin Van Ackeren getting the start. Van Ackeren tossed four and 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (three earned) on five hits while adding one strikeout to his season total (18).
The Bearcats will be back in action for a three-day weekend series in Claremore, Oklahoma March 13-15, taking on Rogers State. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.
— Northwest Athletics —