Morningside’s baseball team won its first game of the season with a 9-8 triumph against College of the Ozarks in the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader in Point Lookout, Mo. The Bobcats won the nightcap 6-2 to leave the Mustangs with a 1-3 record through their first four games of the season.
Morningside slugged three home runs to win a 9-8 slugfest in the opener. Jordan Pierce belted a two-run homer in the top of the third inning, Nathan DeChaine slugged a two-run shot in the fourth and Derrick Johnson hit a solo home run in the fifth.
Pierce’s two-run blast in the top of the third was the big hit in a four-run inning that also featured RBI singles by DeChaine and Joe Genoways that put the Mustangs in front 4-2.
The Bobcats scored three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-4 lead before DeChaine put the Mustangs’ ahead to stay with his two-run homer in the top of the fourth.
The Mustangs made it 7-5 when Johnson homered in the fifth and the Mustangs padded their advantage to 9-5 with two more runs in the top of the sixth when Pierce delivered a RBI single and Andrew Kasperbauer singled and scored on a wild pitch.
DeChaine and Pierce each had a home run, single and three RBIs to pace the Mustangs’ offensive attack. Derek Clayton had a double and single and Dylan Mersola had two hits with a pair of singles. The Mustangs completed a 12-hit attack with a home run by Johnson, a double by Shea Patterson and singles by Genoways and Kasperbauer.
Mustang reliever Cameron Wagner allowed three runs, two of them earned, on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks over the final four innings to get the pitching win.
Bobcat pitcher Jay Kaufman tamed the Mustangs on six hits in the nightcap when he struck out eight and walked two in a seven-inning complete game performance.
Kaufman blanked Morningside on two hits over the first four innings before the Mustangs broke through for two runs in the top of the fifth. Morningside had three of its six hits in the fifth, including a RBI single by Mersola and a run scoring double by DeChaine.
Mersola finished with three singles to account for half of the Mustangs’ six hits. The Mustangs’ other hits were a double by DeChaine and singles by Johnson and Clayton.
Morningside will travel to Atchison, Kan., for doubleheaders against Benedictine on Feb. 24 and 25.