After a seven-game stretch of offensive struggles to start the season, Missouri S&T's baseball team took out its frustrations in a span of about three hours Wednesday afternoon as it rapped out a season-high 17 hits to post a 15-6 victory over Hannibal-LaGrange in the home opener at the S&T Baseball Field.
An eight-run fourth inning got the Miners going offensively, as they were also able to take advantage of some sloppy defensive play by the visiting Trojans in the middle innings. Hannibal-LaGrange committed seven errors in the game – all of them coming in the fourth and fifth innings when the Miners scored 11 times in the two frames.
The fourth inning started with a walk to Will Morrison, which was followed by a bunt single by Reed Brown and an error when Zach Siegel was bunting the runners over to load the bases. Matt Robaska followed by singling up the middle on the first pitch he saw to score Morrison and Brown to break the scoreless tie.
Michael Boxell chopped a ball to the right of pitcher Nick Garrett, who bobbled it as Siegel crossed the plate with the third run of the inning, then Tyler Bodenstab singled under the glove of the second baseman to bring home Robaska.
With one out, Clint Wobbe drew a walk to load the bases, which was followed by a wild pitch that scored Boxell. Michael Lockett followed that with a grounder to short, but the throw home to cut down Bodenstab got past the catcher, allowing him and Wobbe to cross the plate.
The fourth error in the inning allowed Morrison to reach for the second time in the inning and he would later score when Siegel reached on a throwing error by reliever Eric Bruening.
S&T would score three more in the fifth, highlighted by a run scoring double by Lockett and an RBI triple by Morrison, then added a run in the sixth on a leadoff homer by Siegel, two in the seventh and one in the eighth.
Lockett and Morrison both drove in runs in the seventh, while Wobbe got the RBI in the eighth to score Sam Adams.
Kyle Rich and Brown had three hits apiece for the Miners, while four others in the starting lineup had two each. Lockett, Morrison and Robaska all drove in a pair of runs for S&T.
Eric Van Dyke threw four scoreless innings to start the game and earned credit for the win, allowing only one hit over that span. The Miners used five relievers for an inning apiece over the balance of the game once they went to the bullpen.
Missouri S&T, 1-7 on the season with Wednesday's victory, will open Great Lakes Valley Conference play Saturday when it hosts McKendree in a noon doubleheader at the S&T Baseball Field. The Miners and Bearcats are also scheduled to play a pair on Sunday at noon.