Kearney, Neb. – Senior Dallas Schramm reached the 200-hit milestone and tied the school record for career home runs but Missouri Western State otherwise stymied Nebraska-Kearney, 7-3, Sunday afternoon in St. Joseph. This was the regular season finale for both teams. By winning today and taking the series, the Griffons (28-22, 20-16) secured the sixth-seed in next week’s eight-team MIAA Tournament in Warrensburg, Mo. The Lopers (28-22, 21-15) already knew it would be the fifth-seed; they’ll face fourth-seed Pittsburg State (31-17, 23-13) Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The event is double elimination. Schramm (Millard North), a rare fifth-year senior, smacked leadoff single up the middle in the top of the second for career hit number 200. He is just the 12th Loper to reach that mark and the first on that short list to be a catcher. Two innings later, Schramm hit a two-run homer to left center. His 13th long ball of the season gives him 39 in his career, tying the mark set by Tom Bales (1985-88). Schramm also had 13 dingers last year, 12 as a sophomore and one as a true freshman in 2014. He missed most of 2015 due to injury. That homer tied the game at two and then UNK moved ahead in the fifth when junior right fielder Alex Achtermann (Denver) hit a one-out single to center. However, the Griffs scored two in the fifth, two more in the seventh and one in the eighth to pull away.
Schramm placed a seven-hit attack by going 2 for 4 with a run and two RBI’s while senior second baseman Scott Platt (Longmont, Colo.) was 2 for 4 from the six-hole. On the mound, Colorado senior Mitchell Robinson (4-4) was the tough luck loser, allowing two earned on eight hits, five walks and a hit batter in five innings and 102 pitches. Senior reliever Preston Bailey improved to 5-3 by blanking UNK for 3.2 innings. He fanned two, didn’t walk a batter and gave up just one hit. Offensively, five different Griffs had a multi-hit day including first baseman Bailey Zimmer (3 for 3, one run & one RBI) and center fielder Maurice Bruce (2 for 4, one run & two RBI’s). UNK is 0-4 all-time in the MIAA Tournament, dropping three-game series at Central Oklahoma (2014) and Central Missouri (2015). Since then, the format went back to an eight-team bracket at one site.