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Mules roll past Gorillas in MIAA Tourney


WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Vance Tobel belted two home runs, and Carter Young and Max Holy drove in three runs apiece as top-seeded Central Missouri rolled past Pittsburg State 13-2 Thursday night at Crain Stadium in the semifinal round of the MIAA Postseason Tournament.

Rain on Thursday morning delayed the tournament's start by 6 1/2 hours, and it forced a schedule revision.

Second-seeded Missouri Southern and Northeastern State, originally slated to play at 4 p.m. Thursday, were pushed back to 11 a.m. Friday. The Gorillas play the MSSU-NSU loser in an elimination game at 3 p.m., and the Mules face the MSSU-NSU winner at 7.

Two games will be played on Saturday. The losers' bracket final is set for noon, followed by the winner-take-all championship game at 4. The "if necessary" game in the championship round has been canceled.

The Mules (39-13), who are ranked No. 4 nationally, opened a 4-1 lead in the first two innings despite getting only two hits.

PSU starter Zac Shoemaker (9-3) walked Young and hit Jack Schark to start the first inning. With one out Tobel launched a homer to left field for a 3-0 lead.

The Gorillas (33-19) scored once in the second inning.

Cade Clemens' infield roller went for a hit, and Nixon Brannan was hit by a pitch. Clemens took third on a wild pitch and scored on Brett Daley's single to left.

Holy walked in the UCM second, stole second and scored on Young's two-out single to left to make it 4-1.

The Mules added a run in the fourth when Chase Heath doubled and came around to score on bunts by Mason Lowe and Young.

Tobel led off the Central Missouri fifth with another homer to left, his 12th of the season. After a walk and an error, Holy singled home two runs and Young hit a sacrifice fly to make it 9-1.

Central Missouri added four runs in the sixth on Brennen vanBreusegen's two-run single, Holy's RBI single and Heath's double-play grounder.

The Gorillas scored in the seventh after pinch-hitter Dawson Pomeroy doubled, pinch-hitter Trey McClelland walked and Austin Warkins was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Jake Grauberger hit a sacrifice fly to left field for a run, and a groundout and flyout ended the game.

Warkins and Karson Coffee had two hits each for the Gorillas, who had nine hits.

Shoemaker allowed six hits and eight runs (seven earned) in 4 1/3 innings, struck out five batters and walked four. Boston Dowd, Maverick Hanna and Chase Terrell worked the final 1 2/3 innings.

Mules starter Conner Wolf (10-3) went six innings and gave up eight hits and a run while striking out three.

Pittsburg St. 010 000 1 -- 2 9 1

Central Mo. 310 144 x -- 13 12 1

Zac Shoemaker, Boston Dowd (5), Maverick Hanna (6), Chase Terrell (6) and Nixon Brannan; Conner Wolf, Wyatt Clark (7) and Chase Heath. W--Wolf 10-3. L--Shoemaker 9-3. 2B--PSU: Austin Warkins, Dawson Pomeroy; UCM: Heath, Brennen vanBruesegen. HR--UCM: Vance Tobol 2 (12).