Emporia State baseball splits with Nebraska-Kearney

March 22, 2014-The Emporia State baseball team got a walk off win to salvage a split in the their Saturday double header with Neb.-Kearney at the Trusler Sports Complex.  The Lopers won game one 3-1 while the Hornets took a 3-2 victory in game two.

Neb.-Kearney scored first in the matinee when Jayke Brock led off with a double, went to third on a single by Josh Kiger and scored on a fielder’s choice in the second inning. Emporia State tied the game in the bottom of the third with an unearned run.  Toby Cornejo got a two out walk and went to second when Dean Long’s grounder to short couldn’t be handled cleanly.  Price Jacobs then delivered an RBI single to tie the score at 1-1.  The Lopers regained the lead on a Max Ayoub RBI double in the fifth and added an unearned insurance run in the sixth.

The Hornets were held to just two hits, the RBI single from Jacobs and a two out single by Cornejo in the seventh.  Cornejo did reach base in all four plate appearances with two walks and reaching on an error. Jarrod Miller took the loss allowing three runs, two of them earned, on eight hits with a walk and four strike outs.

Both teams were scoreless through three inning in the nightcap until Emporia State took their first lead of the series in the bottom of the fourth.  Cornejo reached on a throwing error and went to second on a sac bunt by Jacobs.  With two outs Aaron Gile delivered an RBI single to center for a 1-0 lead.  The Lopers took the lead with two runs in the top fo the sixth.  Ayoub led off with a single up the middle and went to third on Anthony Pacheco’s double. After a ground out Josh Kiger hit a come backer to the mound and Ayoub got caught in a rundown but was able to elude the tag going home to tie the score. Brenton Higgins then came on in relief of Kevin Shaffer and gave up a single to Kyle Honeycutt for a 2-1 Loper lead.

Emporia State answered with a single run in the bottom of the sixth.  Jordan Hodges led off with a single and after an out went to second on Jacobs walk that brought in the Lopers closer Joe Smidt. Gile then delivered his second RBI single of the game to tie the score at 2-2.  After Higgins worked a scoreless seventh Dean Long led off the bottom of the inning with a single through the right side.  Levi Parker worked a one out walk and both players moved up on a wild pitch.  With the infield in Hodges hit a high chopper  to second that allowed Long to score from third for the walk off win.

Gile went two for three with two RBI while Hodges was one for four with a run scored and the game winning RBI.  Higgins worked the final 1.2 innings of relief to pick up the win.

The Hornets will go for the split of the series on Sunday when they host the Lopers in a single nine inning game.  First pitch has been pushed back to 2:00 p.m. to allow for warmer temperatures.

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