HAYS, Kan. – The Fort Hays State baseball team dropped both ends of Thursday’s doubleheader with Northeastern State (April 12), coming up short in game one, 13-9, before falling in the nightcap, 15-7. The Tigers are now 13-25 on the year and 5-19 in MIAA play, while the RiverHawks improve to 21-16 overall and 12-12 in league action.
A whopping 12 home runs were tallied on the day, including four for the Tigers and two for Alex Weiss. It is the second day in a row the senior has swatted a pair of home runs.
Game One: Northeastern State 13, Fort Hays State 9
The Tigers fell behind early in the opener before rallying to take the lead in the third inning. Trailing 4-1, Weiss led things off in that frame with a solo shot to left center. Dayton Pomeroy and Ryan Grasser followed with singles before Jordan Wilkerson cleared the scoreboard in right field with the second home run in the inning, putting the Tigers in front, 5-4.
Fort Hays State maintained the lead until the RiverHawks went back in front for good with six runs in the sixth inning. The Tigers clawed back with a single run in the sixth and three more in the ninth thanks to Ryan Grasser’s three-run home run, but it was too little, too late as the NSU bullpen slammed the door by retiring the next two batters.
Pomeroy collected a game-high four hits, scoring one run. Weiss and Grasser collected three base knocks each, with Weiss scoring three runs and driving in two and Grasser totaling three RBI and two runs scored. Easton Palmer (1-1) took the loss after allowing the go-ahead run to score, allowing two runs over 1.1 inning of relief. Starter Ben Ramberg struck out three batters over four innings of work, giving up four runs.
Game Two: Northeastern State 15, Fort Hays State 7
Northeastern State never gave up the lead after taking advantage of a leadoff double and jumping in front 1-0 in the top of the first. After stretching the lead to 4-0 by the third inning, Clayton Basgall helped the Tigers close the gap to three after sending a double the other way to right field, plating Bryce Whitchurch.
The visitors responded by extending their advantage to 10-1, but the Tigers battled back within three with six runs in the fifth and sixth innings combined. Whitchurch worked a walk to lead things off in the fifth before Addison Kaasch and Basgall singled in consecutive at-bats. Alex Weiss followed with his second long ball of the evening, this time going the other way to right. Kaasch came through with a two-run double in the sixth inning to put the tying run in the on deck circle, placing an outside pitch just inside the right field line.
Basgall collected three of Fort Hays State’s 15 hits in the nightcap, driving in two runs. Weiss drove in a game-high three RBI after collecting two hits. Whitchurch scored two runs after finishing 2-for-3 with a walk. Ryan Ruder (4-5) took the loss after striking out five over four-plus innings of work. Zach Rothert pitched well out of the bullpen, ultimately giving up five runs in 4.2 innings of work, with all the runs scoring in his final two innings of work.
The Tigers and RiverHawks will meet one final time this season on Friday (April 13), with first pitch set for 2 p.m. from Larks Park.