Missouri S&T's baseball team scored a pair of big wins early in its Great Lakes Valley Conference schedule Friday, never trailing in either game of Friday's doubleheader with No. 12-ranked Southern Indiana to win both ends of the twinbill by scores of 4-1 and 5-2.
The pattern was similar in both games – S&T scored in the opening inning, added to the lead as the game progressed and used good pitching and defense to hold off USI's scoring chances when the Screaming Eagles threatened to cut into the margin in the later innings.
In game one, the Miners got on the board when Kyle Rich (Olathe, Kan./Olathe South) walked to open the game, moved to third on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by USI pitcher Ben Wright and scored on Clint Wobbe (St. Louis, Mo./St. Louis University HS)'s ground out.
S&T would add to the lead in the third when Rich and Wobbe singled with one out and scored when Michael Lockett (O'Fallon, Mo./Timberland) doubled into the left field corner to make it 3-0. The Miners scored their fourth run in the seventh when Wobbe singled home Jake Brower (Wentzville, Mo./Timberland), who had bunted his way on base to begin the inning.
In the meantime, Chris Bowe (Rolla, Mo./Rolla) held the Screaming Eagles off the scoreboard for the first six innings. Besides picking off two runners to help escape trouble, he also got a fly out from A.J. Dokey to get out of a two-on, two-out jam in the fourth and picked up one of his seven strikeouts by fanning Andrew Cope to strand two USI runners in the sixth.
The Screaming Eagles got an unearned run off Bowe in the seventh, but he was able to retire Colton White as the tying run to get out of that inning. Bowe got two outs in the eighth before turning the game over to Nolan Korn (Cedar Hill, Mo./Northwest), who followed a walk to load the bases by striking out Brad Wannemuehler on a called third strike to end the frame.
Korn set the Eagles down in order in the ninth to record his first save and preserve the win for Bowe, who improved to 2-2.
Missouri S&T outhit the Screaming Eagles 11-8 in the first game, with Wobbe, Lockett, Will Morrison (Rolla, Mo./Rolla) and Reed Brown (Rogers, Ark./Heritage) all getting two hits apiece. Wobbe and Lockett each had two runs batted in for S&T.
Page 2 of 2 - Game two began in almost identical fashion, as Rich singled to begin the game, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Lockett's sacrifice fly.
S&T tacked on two more in the third, the first scoring on an infield out by Lockett that scored Michael Boxell (O'Fallon, Mo./Fort Zumwalt North), then Morrison drove in Rich with a two-out double into the gap in left center. Wobbe scored on a wild pitch in the fifth to extend the S&T lead to 4-0.
The Screaming Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the fifth on B.J. Willis' sacrifice fly, but the Miners got that run back an inning later when Boxell was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. USI got its second run on a ground out for the second out of the inning in the bottom of the seventh.
The Miners had a 11-6 advantage in hits in game two, as Rich, Tyler Bodenstab (Independence, Mo./Truman) and Colin Coan (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./South St. Paul) all had two hits each.
Korn started the nightcap after throwing only 20 pitches in game one and was credited with the win for his two-hit pitching over the first three innings. Eric Van Dyke (Longmont, Colo./Silver Creek) allowed only an unearned run and three hits in his three innings of work, while Reed Brown (Rogers, Ark./Heritage) pitched the seventh for S&T and got the final three hitters after giving up a leadoff hit.
The Miners, who improved to 5-9 overall and 4-2 in the GLVC, will face the Screaming Eagles (11-5, 2-4 GLVC) in another doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.