Never say never – Lions fight their way to championship Sunday

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Pittsburg, Kan. — The Missouri Southern baseball team, facing elimination today, won a pair of games, first dispatching of Lindenwood and then coming-from-behind to defeat 7th-ranked Central Missouri and advance to Championship Sunday at the MIAA Tournament.

Southern (35-18) will face off with Central Missouri again tomorrow morning at 9 am for the right to move on to the MIAA Championship Game.

The Lions had stellar performances on the mound today as Zac Shomaker went six and two thirds in game one with eight strikeouts to get the win and Bradly Hershey threw seven and a third in game two of releif to shutdown the Mules and pick up a much-needed win and break for the bullpen for the Lions. Shoemaker moves to 8-2 on the season, while Hershey is 5-1. Logan VanWey and Joey Reeves threw in relief in game one, both throwing shutout innings against Lindenwood (28-25).

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Reeves started the game against the Mules (36-14) and went an inning and two thirds, giving up three runs on five hits. Hershey closed out the game and put out the fire.

The Lions got three hits from Freddie Landers in game one, including a double and a triple. Denver Coffee had a pair of hits, while Mike Million, Troy Gagan, Dexter Swims, Calem Nutting, Jon Leighton, Ryan Hunter and Garan Stevens had a hit each.

The Lions scored the first seven runs of the game against Lindenwood. Leighton picked up an RBI in the second, while Gagan added one in the third. Coffee had an RBI in the fifth before an RBI triple from Landers in the seventh. Coffee, Swims and Matt Miller added RBIs in the inning.

Game two saw the Mules go up 4-0 in the game, scoring a pair of runs in the first and a single run each in the second and third.

Million got the Lions on the board in the third, singling home Hunter, while Gagan added a sacrifice fly and Million then scored on a wild pitch to get the Lions within a run (4-3) after three.

Matt Miller homered to lead off the fourth inning to tie the game at four and Landers singled home Hunter in the seventh with the go-ahead run.

Hershey shut down the Mules, holding Central Missouri scoreless the final six innings of the game.

The Mules and Lions will be back at it tomorrow morning at 9 am in another elimination game. The winner of that game will advance to the MIAA Championship game to be played at either 12:30 pm or 4 pm.

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