KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- The Missouri Southern baseball team ended its season today with a 9-6 loss to Fort Hays State University in the first round of the 2012 MIAA Baseball Tournament at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
The Lions (32-19) led 2-1 after the third inning on a two-RBI single from Cullen Baxter that scored Thomas Wilson and Luke Acosta.
Fort Hays (27-22), however, avenged a four-game sweep at the hands of the Lions earlier in the season, and utilized big innings in the sixth, seventh and eighth that saw the team score eight of their nine runs over those frames.
The Lions did not quit, however, as Southern scored a single run in the seventh when Tee Helsel scored on a bases-loaded balk. They added another run in the eighth on a home run to left field for Sam Ryan, his third hit of the day. Southern then kept the comeback going in the ninth when Michael McCoy singled up the middle to score both Acosta and Wilson, but the Lions couldn't complete the comeback.
Ryan went 3-5 on the day with a home run, while McCoy, Baxter, and Wilson had two hits each. Baxter and McCoy both drove in a pair, while Acosta and Wilson scored twice.
Cody Griebling started for Southern and went seven innings, but struggled with control and allowed six earned runs, while striking out six. David Reese threw two innings of relief.
The Lions finish the season 32-19 and were the third-place team in the MIAA. Southern graduates 15 seniors, but returns a very talented group of players for the 2013 season.