15th Ranked Missouri Southern Baseball Opens MIAA Tournament As - KOAM TV 7

15th Ranked Missouri Southern Baseball Opens MIAA Tournament As No. 1 Seed

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Press Release MSSU:

The 15th ranked Missouri Southern baseball team will open up the 2015 MIAA Baseball Tournament as the No. 1 seed and will play host to the No. 8 seed Northeastern State this Thursday through Saturday at Turner Field in Joplin. 

Game Information

Teams: #15 Missouri Southern (36-11) vs. Northeastern State (25-22)

Date: Thursday-Saturday, April 30-May 2
First Pitch: 6 pm on Thursday and Friday, 1 pm on Saturday (If Necessary)
Location: Joplin, Mo.
Site: Warren Turner Field (600)
Series Record:Southern leads 22-18-1
Coaches: Bryce Darnell (232-182 overall/at MSSU). Travis Janssen 104-97 overall/at NSU)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: AM 1560 - ESPN - Ron Fauss - Play-by-play
Internet Audiowww.mssulions.com
Live Stats: www.mssulions.com
Lions on Facebook:  Facebook.com/missourisouthernlions
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mssubaseball

About the Lions:  In Bryce Darnell's eighth season at the helm of the Lions, Southern is in the MIAA Tournament for the fifth time, having made the field in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Southern won the tournament in 2013 The Lions are the MIAA Regular Season Champions and are ranked 15th nationally by the baseball writers and 20th by the coaches. Southern is 24-5 at Warren Turner Field and are 12-6 on the road this year. The MSSU pitching staff is one of the best in Division II this year. The Lions rank in the top ten in three different pitching categories including shutouts (7), k/bb ratio (5th) and walks/9 innings (6th). The team also ranks 6th nationally in fielding percentage. Individually, Cody Hutchinson ranks 5th nationally in wins (9), while Hutchinson and Payton Walker rank 10th in shutouts. Jesse Rall ranks 16th and 18th in home runs and slugging. 

About the RiverHawks:  Northeastern State is the 8th seed in the MIAA Tournament. The RiverHawks are 25-22 overall and finished with a 17-19 record in the MIAA. Ryan Helsley is one of the top pitchers in the MIAA. The game one starter is 7-3 overall and has a 3.32 ERA with 88 strikeouts and just 31 walks in 57 innings pitched. Offensively, Charles Simms leas NSU with a .380 batting average, while Preston Cash leads the team with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. Cody Begovich has eight home runs, as well.  

Last time vs. NSU:  The Lions took three games out of four from the RiverHawks just one week ago as the teams finished out the regular season in Tahlequah. NSU took game one, but the Lions won the final three games of the series.  

Series History:  The two teams have met up 41 times in the history of both programs. The Lions have a 22-18-1 record against NSU. Southern is 13-11 at home, 8-7-1 on the road and neither team has played a neutral-site game against the 

A Win Means: Southern will be one win away from the final four in Kansas City.   

Fielding Numbers: The Lions are on pace to break the school record for fielding percentage this year as Southern leads the MIAA and is sixth in D-2 with a .973 mark.

Pitching Prowess: The Lions lead the MIAA in walks allowed per nine innings, win/loss percentage, WHIP, strikeouts per nine innings, strikeout to walk ratio, and shutouts. The team ranks 6th nationally in walks per nine, while ranking fifth in k/bb ratio and 7th in shutouts.     

Winning Streaks: The Lions started the season on an 11-game winning streak that ranks as the sixth-longest winning streak in Southern baseball history. Southern won 22 games in a row in 1989 and 20-straight in 1994. The 1991 and 95 teams each had 19-game winning streaks, while the 1992 team won 16-straight. 

Strike em Out: The Lions are on pace to break the school record for strikeouts per nine innings this year as the team is averaging 8.7 this season to rank 19th nationally. The 358 total strikeouts is 50 from the single-season record in that category.  

Tino Martinez Semi Finalist: Missouri Southern center fielder Chris Hoffman is a semi-finalist for the Division II Player of the Year Award - the Tino Martinez Award. Hoffman is currently hitting .430 with 8 home runs and 39 RBIs. He leads the team with 47 runs, 71 hits 3 triples and 12 doubles.  

MIAA Leaders: The Lions lead the MIAA in six different pitching categories, as well as most walks (offensively) and fielding percentage. Southern ranks second in ERA and hits allowed per nine innings, while ranking fourth in on base percentage and fifth in both home runs and home runs per game.  

Individual MIAA Offensive Leaders: Tee Helsel leads the MIAA in walks, while Hoffman is second in batting average. Hoffman ranks second in hits, while Jesse Rall ranks third in both home runs and home runs per game. He ranks second slugging, third in RBIs per game and 5th in total RBIs.  

Individual MIAA Pitching Leaders: Cody Hutchinson leads the MIAA in wins, while he and Payton Walker lead the league in complete games. Walker is second in WHIP, while Hutchinson ranks third. Walker is third in walks allowed per nine innings, while Walker, Tyler Burgess and Hutchinson ranke 3-4-5 in strikeouts.    

NCAA Team Leaders: As a team, the Lions rank sixth in walks allowed, seventh in shutouts, fifth in strikeout to walk ratio, and sixth in fielding percentage. They also rank 12th in win-loss percentage, 14th in most walks, 16th in WHIP, 19th in strikeouts per nine, 21st in home runs, 23rd in home runs per game and 25th in on base percentage.  

NCAA Individual Leaders: Individually, Cody Hutchinson is 5th nationally in wins. He and Payton Walker rank 10th in complete games, while Jesse Rall ranks 16th in home runs per game, 17th in home runs and 18th in slugging. Chris Hoffman ranks 35th in hits and 23rd in batting average.

Southern at the MIAA Tournament: The Lions played in their first MIAA Tournament in 1990 where they placed second and advanced to the South Central Regional. Overall, Southern has a 30-24 mark at the MIAA Tournament. Below is how the Lions have fared against league competition at the tournament.

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