The top four hitters in the Morehead State baseball lineup combined for 13 hits and a pair of pitchers only walked one Southeast Missouri batter as the Eagles opened Ohio Valley Conference play with a 12-9 win over the Redhawks at Allen Field Thursday.
Leadoff man Reid Leonard was 4-for-6 with leftfielder Michael Patrick collecting three hits in the second spot. Sophomore outfielder Niko Hulsizer manned the third spot for the Eagles (9-5) and was 3-for-6 with a home run and a team-best four RBI. Senior outfielder Will Schneider upped his batting average to a league-best .509 with three hits and also drew three walks. MSU had 18 hits and now has 41 hits in its last two games.
On the mound, freshman southpaw Dalton Stambaugh (1-1) collected his first career win, scattering 11 hits but striking out five in 5.2 innings. Fellow freshman Jake Ziegelmeyer, a righty, snagged his first career save by fanning four and allowing just three runs in the final 3.2 innings.
"We walked one guy in nine innings, and that was what I was probably most proud of," said head coach Mike McGuire. "Some guys are really swinging the bats well, and I realize that won't last forever, but I really also like the way we are competing at the plate with two strikes."
The Eagles jumped on SEMO lefty starter Robert Beltran (0-2) for five runs in the first two innings, including a two-run homer by Schneider in the second. The hosts also scored twice in the first four frames on errors and once on a bases-loaded walk allowed by the team that led the OVC in fewest walks.
Hulsizer added a solo homer, his team-best fourth, in the fifth as the Eagles built an 8-2 lead. The Redhawks crept back to within 8-6 in the sixth on a Dan Holst two-run single, but Morris ignited a four-run rally in the bottom of the innings with his second home run in the last three outings. Hulsizer also clubbed a two-run double to the left field corner.
SEMO nailed four home runs on the day, including two by rightfielder Chris Osborne, who also had a game-best five RBI.
The teams will conclude the series on Friday with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. ET. Both games can be seen live on Facebook Live (Morehead State Eagles Baseball) or heard live on the Eagle Sports Network on MSUEagles.com.
* Will Schneider extended his hitting streak to a team-best 11 games.
* Reid Leonard moved his hitting streak to eight games.
* Schneider has now reached base in 19 straight games since the end of the 2016 season.
* Hunter Fain has now reached base safely in 21 consecutive games since the end of 2016.
* Braxton Morris has a 12-game reached-base streak.
* Schneider is 12-for-14 (.857) with six RBI, three doubles and two home runs in the last three games.
* Braxton Morris has six straight multi-hit games and is 13-for-21 (.619) in that span.
* Michael Patrick is 9-for-18 (.500) now in his last four games.
* Morehead State will look to win its 13th straight series (since 2015) at home Friday.
* The Eagles are 38-11 (.775) at home since 2015.