Joe Hoffmann, Media Relations Manager
WARRENSBURG – No. 3 seed Central Missouri Mules Baseball walks off with the 2018 MIAA Tournament Championship trophy after a thrilling 2-1 win in the championship game.
• Starting pitchers Collin Jones and Adam Thies were deadlocked in a scoreless pitcher’s dual after five innings. Emporia State got on the board first with the help of some Mules miscues. After a one-out walk, Jones’ pick-off attempt sailed over the head Collin Nevil and went down the right field line. That allowed Bryce Fisher to get all the way to third. He scored the games first run on a wild pitch.
• After Jones departed, Coby Seiz entered and got a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning and keep the score at 1-0.
• The Mules answered in the seventh. Harrison Schnurbusch led off with a four-pitch walk and moved to second on Donovan Ditto’s sacrifice bunt. With two outs and a 1-2 count, Mason Janvrin tied the game with a two-out RBI single to center as Schnurbusch scored the tying run.
• Emporia State threatened to retake the lead in the top of the eighth. They got runners on second and third with one out when Justin Graff-Rowe ended the inning himself. He made a sliding catch on a shallow pop up in right fied. He then came up firing and threw out the runner from third tagging up on the play to end the inning.
• In the ninth, Ditto led off and reached base after a two-base throwing error by the shortstop. Zak Whalin was looking to bunt him over, but after going down in the count 0-2, ended the game with a base hit up the middle as Ditto came around to score.
Mules Stat Leaders
• Collin Jones started and threw a terrific game allowing one unearned run on four hits in 5.1 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
• Mason Janvrin knocked three of the Mules six hits finishing 3-4 with an RBI.
• Harrison Schnurbusch reached base twice with a single and a walk an scored a run.
• Zak Whalin was 1-4 with the game winning hit.
• Luke Mercer earned the win on the mound pitching 1.2 innings giving up just one hit with two strikeouts.
• Coby Seiz tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, surrendering just one hit.
For the Hornets
• Adam Thies started and threw six innings allowing one run on four hits with one walk.
• Kaden Shaffer reached base three times with two singles and a walk.
• Bryce Fisher scored a run and had a single and two walks.
• Trevor Turner and Kyle Lopez each went 1-4.
News and Notes
• This is the Mules 22nd MIAA Tournament Championship in team history, the last coming in 2016.
• Kyle Crookes has won two MIAA Tournament Championships in four years at Central Missouri.
• The 2-1 win was the lowest scoring game of the MIAA Tournament.
• All 12 hits in the game were singles.
• Central Missouri went 4-0 in the MIAA Tournament. The Mules outscored their opponents 35-6 in the four games.
• The win gives the Mules the MIAA automatic bid into the NCAA Central Region Tournament.
• Central Missouri won’t have to wait long to find out their first opponent in the NCAA Central Region Tournament. The selection show will be held Sunday night at 9 p.m. CT.