The Missouri S&T baseball team hosted UMSL for a four game series over the weekend. The Miners split games on Saturday, before sweeping Sunday’s doubleheader to win the series 3-1.
Missouri S&T got a walk-off win in extra innings to begin this weekend's crucial four-game Great Lakes Valley Conference series with Missouri-St. Louis, but the Tritons gained a split of Saturday's twinbill by getting an extra inning win of their own in the nightcap.
The Miners (19-23, 9-13 GLVC) took game one 5-4 on Conner Forsythe (Farmington, MO/Farmington)'s two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th inning, but in the second game, UMSL (19-24, 10-12 GLVC) scored twice in the top of the eighth to win 4-2.
As a result, the Miners stay one game in back of the Tritons in the GLVC West Division race, but S&T now sits just one game in back of William Jewell for fourth place in the division with six games remaining on the conference schedule. S&T and UMSL – who moved into a tie with William Jewell with the game two win – will play two more times on Sunday at the S&T Ballpark starting at noon.
The Miners fell behind in the second inning of the opener, but tied the score in the fifth when Cameron Burk (Nacogdoches, TX/Cushing) drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Lucas Swindle(Weldon Spring, MO/Lutheran-St. Charles)'s hit down the line in left. However, UMSL regained the lead in the sixth on a two-run double by Derrick Freeman and carried that advantage into the seventh.
S&T, which had been held to three hits over the first six innings, got a leadoff triple from Justus Nelson(Plymouth, MN/Robbinsdale Armstrong) and he scored on a hit that followed by Jack DeGarmo(Liberty, MO/Liberty North). Later in the inning, DeGarmo came across with the tying run on Matt Gruse (Neenah, WI/Neenah)'s sacrifice fly.
The Miner bullpen held the fort until the 11th, when the Tritons took the lead on a two-out double by Tom DeCero, but a second runner trying to score on the play was thrown out at the plate on DeGarmo's relay throw from Jason Volkmann (Liberty, MO/Liberty) in left -- a play that ended the inning and turned into a huge play a short time later.
In the bottom of the 11th, Burk was hit by a pitch to start the inning and ended up at third following a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. With a 1-2 count on him, Forsythe blasted a Alex Oltman delivery over the fence in left to win it for the Miners and draw them into a tie for the time being in the standings with UMSL.
The Tritons outhit S&T 15-10 in game one; Forsythe had three hits and Nelson – one of six S&T seniors honored prior to Saturday's twinbill – had two hits. Luke Marcheschi (Bloomington, IL/Central Catholic) picked up the win following his 2 2/3-inning relief stint.
UMSL took the lead in game two with a pair of runs in the third inning off S&T starter Dan Borek(Greenville, WI/Hortonville) – one of which was unearned – but the Miners knotted the score with single runs in the fifth and sixth frames.
The Miners got their first two runners on base in the fifth on hits by Nelson and DeGarmo, then after a sacrifice bunt by Volkmann, Burk hit a sacrifice fly to get S&T on the board. An inning later, Gruse bunted his way on to start the inning and came into score two batters later on a hit by Tim Lira(Granger, IN/Penn).
But in the eighth, the Tritons regained the lead when Freeman hit a two-run double to the fence in center and UMSL starter Matt Graser pitched around a two-out hit to close out the contest.
Forsythe had two hits for S&T in game two as they were outhit 8-7. Borek, who pitched into the eighth, took the loss for S&T.
The Miners then had two late offensive uprisings – including a walk-off home run for the second day in succession – allowed Missouri S&T to sweep its Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader Sunday over Missouri-St. Louis at the S&T Ballpark, as the Miners won the twinbill by scores of 8-4 and 10-7.
The game-winning home run Sunday was provided by the same player who hit Saturday's – Conner Forsythe(Farmington, MO/Farmington) – a he belted a grand slam to end it after the Miners' first three hitters reached base in the bottom of the seventh. In game two, S&T saw UMSL overcome a five-run deficit in the eighth to tie the game, but scored three in the bottom half of the inning to complete the sweep and take three of four in the weekend series.
As a result of the sweep, the Miners (21-23, 11-13 GLVC) are now tied with William Jewell for fourth place in the GLVC West Division standings heading into the final weekend of action that begins Friday. The Miners will close the season with a four-game series at Truman State, while William Jewell heads to Maryville for its final series and UMSL (19-26, 10-14 GLVC), who is one game in back of S&T and Jewell, will host Rockhurst to finish the regular season.
After UMSL scored in opening inning of game one without the benefit of a hit, the Miners answered back in the bottom of the first. With one out, Lucas Swindle (Weldon Spring, MO/Lutheran-St. Charles) singled and moved to second on a wild pickoff throw. Following a hit by Matt Gruse(Neenah, WI/Neenah) to put the runners on the corners and a wild pitch to send Gruse to second, Forsythe sent a single to left to score both runners and give S&T the lead.
The Miners extended that lead in the second when they loaded the bases with one out and Swindle delivered a two-out single to drive home Jack DeGarmo (Liberty, MO/Liberty North) and Zach Wiegand (Coppell, TX/Parish Episcopal) to make it 4-1.
S&T carried that lead into the fourth, but after starter Dalton Erger (Imperial, MO/Seckman) retired the first two hitters of the inning, the Tritons got four straight hits and eventually tied the game when Cooper Vinz scored on a throwing error following a strikeout that would have ended the inning.
Miner relievers Stuart Martin (Ajax, ON/Ajax) and Anthony Garza (Belleviille, IL/Belleville East) were able to keep the contest tied, as Martin got them out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth with a double play and Garza pitched around a leadoff walk issued by his predecessor an inning later as he retired all six hitters he faced.
In the seventh, Cameron Burk (Nacogdoches, TX/Cushing) drew a leadoff walk from reliever Jason Stuckmeyer, then back-to-back hits by Swindle and Gruse loaded the bases in front of Forsythe, who completed a six-RBI game with a ball that grazed over the fence in left center to win the game.
Swindle had three hits for S&T in game one, while Burk, Gruse and Forsythe all had two apiece as the Miners outhit the Tritons 10-8. Garza picked up the win on the mound, while Erger struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings.
The nightcap saw the Miners get the jump on the scoreboard, as they scored in the second when Kaleb Reid (Smithville, MO/Smithville) singled with two outs, stole second and came in to score on a hit by Justus Nelson (Plymouth, MN/Robbinsdale Armstrong). UMSL tied the game in the third, but the Miners regained the advantage when they batted around in the fourth and scored three times.
S&T loaded the bases with one out before an opposite field hit by Wiegand gave the Miners the lead. Burk followed with a hit to score Reid with the second run of the frame, then a bases loaded walk to Gruse with two outs forced home a run.
The Miners extended their lead to 6-1 an inning later as a sacrifice fly by Wiegand allowed Reid to score and a wild pitch scored Nelson, then after the Tritons scored a run in the sixth, the Miners got that run back in the seventh when Burk singled home Nelson.
UMSL, however, batted around in the eighth and scored five times to knot the score. A two-run single by Tom DeCero got the Tritons to within a run, then he scored the tying run on a wild pitch later in the inning.
But in the bottom half of the inning, the Miners did some two-out damage to take the lead back.
Gruse led off the inning with a hit and was at third with two outs when Reid stroked a single to center to score the go-ahead run. Following a hit batter and another hit, Wiegand drove in two more with a single to give the Miners a three-run lead heading into the ninth.
UMSL got the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Forsythe got Cooper Vinz to fly out and preserve the victory for reliever Blaine Dunbar (West Plains, MO/West Plains).
The Miners had a 14-11 advantage in hits in game two; six different players had two apiece and Wiegand drove in four runs in the nightcap.
Missouri S&T will play a non-conference game Tuesday against Lindenwood in St. Charles, Mo., prior to its series at Truman State. Tuesday's contest will get underway at 6 p.m.