Lopers Drop Series, Now in 10th Place|
The Northeastern State RiverHawks rallied from a 6-1 deficit to beat Nebraska-Kearney, 8-6, Sunday afternoon in Tahlequah, Okla.
With the victory, NSU (25-19, 23-18) won the three-game series. On Saturday, the ‘Hawks held on for a 12-11 victory after the Lopers (20-22, 17-19) won the opener, 8-5.
Heading into the final week of the season, UNK is 10th in the MIAA standing. The top eight teams make the league tourney; seventh-place Pittsburg State and Fort Hays State are both currently 19-17.
The Lopers were seemingly in good position to win the series as they got a solo homer from sophomore second baseman Danny Droll (2 for 4) in the first, a two-run single from freshman right fielder Anthony Pacheco (2 for 5) in the third and a two-run double by senior left fielder Brian Wuest (Prosper, Texas) in the fourth.
However, UNK was blanked over the next five innings as the NSU bullpen allowed one run in 5.2 innings. At the plate, the ‘Hawks got back into it with a three-run dinger by left fielder Kyle Singleton in the fifth and then moved ahead for good when catcher David Weber belted a two out, three-run triple in the sixth.
The rally started when three straight NSU players walked with one out. A solo homer pinch hitter Greg Jackson provided the final run.
On Saturday, the second game featured 23 runs on 24 hits, eight walks and seven errors. UNK had five of the miscues, leading to seven runs, and six of the base on balls.
Wuest (2 for 4) and sophomore center fielder Brandon Landanger (2 for 6) each homered in the eighth with Pacheco and junior shortstop Scott Jameson each having three hits. Jameson (Lovell, Wyo.) also knocked in four runs.
In the series opener, Wuest (3 for 4) smacked a two-run shot in the first and sophomore catcher Max Ayoub (2 for 3) added a solo shot in the sixth. Gering junior Carlos Palomo improved to 3-3 by striking out six in five full innings.
North Platte redshirt freshman Joe Smidt came on an earned his fifth save, blanking NSU for the final two innings.
Ninth-place Southwest Baptist visits Memorial Field this weekend