Whipple, White lead Emporia wins
White's six RBIs a career-high, ESU gets first GS of season
WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- No. 3 Emporia State outhit No. 4 Central Missouri in both games of a doubleheader sweep. ESU took game one, 5-4, after Travis Whipple connected on a grand slam in the fifth inning. The Hornets would then take the nightcap, 9-6, following a six-run outburst in the sixth inning.
In game one, Central Missouri jumped out to a 2-0 lead by taking advantage of ESU misques in the third inning. Matt LaGree reached base on an error committed by right fielder Parker Amos. Two batters later, Bret Schwartz singled, advancing LaGree to third. Schwartz then attempted to steal second and Hornets' catcher David Allbritton made an errant throw that allowed LaGree to come home. Later in the inning, second baseman Tyler Anthony grounded out to the second baseman for an RBI.
The Hornets would get a run back in the fourth. Whipple reached on an error by Anthony and later score as ESU center fielder Dillon Hazlett was picked off at first. UCM's Will Mulligan would answer in the fifth with a two-RBI double to center, scoring Albert Selanders and Frank Specht to extend the Mules' lead to 4-1.
Emporia's offense would then begin to click in the top of the fifth. Kevin Wempe doubled down the left field line, Joe Kornbrust singled and Jacob White drew a walk to load the bases. Whipple, then, belted a grand slam to right center that would prove to be the winning hit. It was Whipple's seventh home run and ESU's first grand slam of the season.
Whipple finished 2-for-4 at the plate, and he scored or drove in all of the five Hornet runs. Joe Vaskas was the only other Emporia hitter who had a multiple hit game, going 2-for-4 on the afternoon.
On the mound, Brandon Faulkner scattered four runs, only two of which were earned, over 4.2 innings to pick up his seventh win of the season. Michael Cotter tossed a perfect one-two-three ninth to pick up his 13th save.
In the nightcap, Central Missouri took an early 1-0 lead, again capitalizing on Hornet mistakes. Tyler Ruch hit a double to right center with two outs and Nick DeBiasse drew a walk. Ruch would then advance to third on a wild pitch, and Specht would reach on an error by shortstop Andy Cotton, allowing Ruch to score. Emporia would tie the game in the bottom of the first. After a DeBiasse error, Allbritton would drive in a run with an RBI single, but McGree then put the Mules back up at 2-1 with an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth. The Hornets tied the game, 2-2, with an RBI double from White.
Emporia's offense exploded in the sixth inning with a six-run spot. Amos and Vaskas singled and Wempe drew a walk. Whipple drew another walk, this time with the bases loaded, for an RBI. Beau Poston singled in a run and White drove in another two runs with a single through the left side. The Hornets added another two runs off a Schwartz error. UCM would rebound with four runs in the eighth, but ESU pitching would shut the door and help the Hornets sweep the doubleheader with the 9-6 win.
White went 3-for-6 with a career-high three RBIs. Vaskas and Amos each went 3-for-4. Poston went 2-for-4 and added two runs scored and a run batted in, and Allbritton drove in two runs.
On the mound Zach Gove pitched his longest outint of the season, throwing 134 pitches in 7.1 innings to earn his sixth victory. Brett Kinsel came out of the Hornet pen and pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
LaGree led CMU with two RBIs, and Selanders, Mulligan and Luke Schlechte each had an RBI.