WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Three runs and seven hits were not enough for the Fort Hays State baseball team to keep up with Central Missouri Sunday with the Mules pulling away to win the series finale 13-3. The Tigers (4-37, 2-28 MIAA) tied things up at 1-1 in the third inning before Central Missouri (32-12, 22-8) scored 12 runs over its final four at bats.
After the Mules took an early lead in the first inning, three consecutive singles from Bryce Baumwart, Jared Maneth and Marcus McDaniel loaded the bases in the third. Caleb Egan kept things rolling with another base knock, plating Baumwart to tie things up at 1-1 before UCM starting pitcher Luke Lucas (4-0) got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout.
Central Missouri got things going in the fourth, pushing across four runs then added four more in the fifth and seventh innings. The Tigers closed within 9-3 in the top of the seventh after Baumwart worked a one-out walk. Maneth followed with a double into the right field corner before McDaniel plated a run with an RBI groundout. Cody Starkel drove in another run with a double down the left field line two batters later, but the rally came to a close with another strikeout.
Tanner Smith (0-5) took the loss for the Tigers, surrendering nine runs (eight earned) on 11 hits while striking out four over five frames. Maneth was the lone Tiger to collect multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3 with a run.
The Tigers will return to Larks Park next weekend (May 3-5) to wrap up the regular season against Pittsburg State. The series is set to begin at 7 p.m. Friday before a 2 p.m. first pitch Saturday and a noon season finale Sunday.