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Baseball sweeps No. 22 Emporia State

Western baseball swept a doubleheader on Tuesday at No. 22 Emporia State to improve its record to 23-11 overall and 16-8 in MIAA conference play.

Nate Ramler started the scoring in the third inning of game one with a two run homerun that scored Spencer Shockley, who singled to left center earlier in the inning.  The hit was Ramler’s sixth homerun of the season.  The score stayed 2-0 for the next five innings.

A double by Jimmy Smelcer in the top of the sixth inning scored Grant Fink and then Kyle Peterson hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ramler to make the score 4-0.   Ethan Ward shut down the Hornets offense through the first six innings, allowing only three hits and no runs.

Just when it looked like Western had the win sealed up, Emporia finally got to Ward in the bottom of the seventh inning, scoring four runs off of a series of singles to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shawn Egge pinch hit for Peterson and hit a single that scored pinch runner Jack Bond.  Egge’s RBI and only at bat of the game was the game-winner as it put the Griffons on top 5-4.

Jake Jones gave up a couple of hits in the bottom of the eighth inning, but fought through it to pick up his sixth save of the season.

The Griffons got on the board in the first inning of game two as a Shockley single scored Grant Fink.  Emporia responded with two runs in the second inning to make the score 2-1.

In the top of the third inning, Michael Schulze singled up the middle and Bubba Dotson singled after him to put runner on first and second.  Fink was hit by a pitch to load the bases up with one out.  A wild pitch scored Schulze and a Shockley fielder’s choice RBI scored Dotson to make the score 3-2 Western.

Oliver Kady shut down the Hornets offense in the bottom of the third and the Griffons got a big burst of offense from Egge in the top of the fourth.  Egge hit a three-run homerun that scored Tony Loeffler and  Smelcer.  The Griffons led 6-2 after the blast and it was all they needed to win as Emporia wasn’t able to produce anymore runs for the rest of the game.

Kady got his first victory of the season, pitching five innings and only giving up four hits.  Matt Bergin pitched two innings in relief and struck out three batters.

Egge had two hits and four RBI’s on the day including his first home run of the season and a game-winning single.  The Griffons are now only one game behind Emporia, who sits in second place in the MIAA standings.

Western will return to action in a four-game series against Pittsburg State in Pittsburg, Kansas on Saturday and Sunday.  The Griffons won’t play in St. Joseph until April 27th as their next eight games are on the road.

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