The Griffons played host to Central Missouri last weekend and were swept in a four game series by the Mules.
The first game of the series started on Thursday afternoon in a close game that the Mules were able to take 4-3 in after an unusual error on the infield let the winning run score from second base. Western was able to take an early 3-0 lead on the second-ranked team in the nation as they capitalized on three Mule errors. UCM showed why they were the number two team in the nation, however, as the Mule pitching staff held the Griffons scoreless the rest of the game and only gave up two hits.
The second game of the double header was not as close as the Mules dominated the Griffons and winning the game 15-4.
Due to rain the two games scheduled for Friday were moved to Saturday afternoon. The first game was a lopsided affair as the Griffons fell 17-0. The nightcap was a close battle that the Griffons dropped 4-3. True freshman Brandon Simmons threw 7.2 strong innings for Western as he struck out eight and gave up two earned runs.
Freshman Scott Groner also chipped in with his first home run as a Griffon and also had three RBI’s in the game. Western committed three errors in the fourth inning that helped the Mules to tie up the game at three after the Griffons had taken an early 3-1 lead. Western also struggled with getting runners home in the game leaving nine runners on base.
“I was very happy with the performance we got from Brandon Simmons in the game and I think that we showed some fight in two of the games and in the other two they really showed why they are ranked second in the nation,” head coach Buzz Verduzco said.
Pitcher Andy Hebrard was disappointed with how the weekend went.
“This weekend didn’t go how we wanted it to,” Hebrard said. “We have to flush it out and keep working hard. We need to keep our heads up and know we have our chance to get ourselves back in it.”
Western falls to 13-15 overall and 7-15 in the MIAA. Western will continue their conference schedule on April 9-10 as they host Truman State University at Phil Welch Stadium.