Southeast Missouri State baseball falls to Morehead State in OVC opener

Friday, March 10, 2017
Southeast Missouri State's Chris Osborne, shown hitting a home run in a game earlier this season against UT Arlington, had his first multi-home run game as a Redhawk in SEMO's 12-9 loss against Morehead State on Thursday in Morehead, Kentucky. Osborne finished 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs.
Wayne McPherson ~ Special to the Southeast Missourian

Pitching woes proved to be too costly for the Southeast Missouri State baseball team on Thursday, as the Redhawks dropped a 12-9 decision against Morehead State in both teams' Ohio Valley Conference opener in Morehead, Kentucky.

The game featued seven combined home runs, including four by Southeast (6-5, 0-1 OVC).

The Redhawks produced 16 hits and had three players record three in the game. Chris Osborne led the way, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and a career-high five RBIs. It's Osborne's first multi-home run game as a Redhawk. Dan Holst and Chris Caffrey also finished with three hits. Holst drove in two runs.

Robert Beltran (0-2) was tagged with the pitching loss after getting off to a rough start for the second game in a row. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits in 1 2/3 innings of work. Jared Waldhoff threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings as the first out of the bullpen, while Carlos Vega pitched in relief for the final two innings, giving up only one hit.

The Redhawks entered the game as the nation's leader in walks allowed per nine innings but issued a season-high six base on balls against MSU (9-5, 1-0 OVC).

Dalton Stambaugh (1-1) picked up the win on the mound for the Eagles. He got his first weekend start and threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing six runs -- five earned -- on 11 hits. Stambaugh struck out five batters and walked one.

Jake Ziegelmeyer was credited with the three-inning save, throwing 3 1/3 innings and fanning four Redhawks.

MSU scored twice in the bottom of the first inning, beginning the game with a single and a double for a pair of runners in scoring position. A fielding error by Southeast shortstop Connor Basler allowed the first run to score, and with the bases loaded and two outs, Braxton Morris drew a walk to give the Eagles a 2-0 advantage.

Morris capped a three-run second inning for MSU with a two-run homer to center, extending the Eagles' lead to 5-0.

Caffrey worked a seven-pitch at-bat in the top of the fourth, lacing a double into right-center before Osborne blasted his second home run of the season over the wall in center to cut SEMO's deficit to 5-2.

The Eagles quickly recovered in the bottom of the frame. Ryan Losman entered to pitch for the Redhawks, giving up a leadoff single and back-to-back walks to juice the bases. Chase Hagerty stepped in to relieve Losman, and with one out, a sacrifice fly by Morris scored Niko Hulsizer. A second error by Basler plated another run for MSU, which led 7-2 after four innings.

Hulsizer hit a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth to push the Eagles' lead to 8-2.

The Redhawks scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning when Kylar Robertson got things going with a solo homer to center. With two outs, Kyle Bottger hit a two-out solo shot before Basler and Clayton Evans hit back-to-back singles and moved into scoring position on a fielding error by the left fielder. Holst singled to left to score both runners and pull Southeast within 8-6.

But MSU responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the frame.

Morris' third RBI came on a leadoff solo homer before the Eagles added three more runs with two outs to create a six-run lead.

Robertson and Caffrey hit back-to-back singles in the top of the seventh before Osborne provided his second homer of the game to cut SEMO's deficit to 12-9.

Reid Leonard led the way for MSU, finishing 4-for-6 at the plate. Hulsizer added three hits and finished with four RBIs.

The two teams return to action with a doubleheader beginning at noon today.

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