Griffons walk it off
St. Joseph, Missouri. — It isn’t very often that the first and last pitch of the game ends up a homerun — but that is exactly what happended Friday night at the Spring Sports Complex.
Missouri Western defeated the Central Oklahoma Bronchos 5–2 Friday night. The game ended when Western catcher Logan Marston hit a three-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth with two on and two out.
“I just went up there and tried to win it for my pitcher, Richie,” Marston said. “He’s worked his butt off all year, I just went up there and did what I can.”
Senior Richard Peoples got the start on the mound for Missouri Western. Peoples ranks third in the MIAA with a 2.67 ERA. Peoples saw his earned run average jump a bit when Central Oklahoma outfielder Jake Dyer hit a homerun on the first pitch of the game.
“We were supposed to go away on that pitch and I just missed and left it middle-in,” Peoples said. “I just had to find it a little bit throughout the game, I was missing spots at the beginning.”
The Griffons’ offense struggled to through the first five innings of the game. It was in the fifth inning that the offense showed some signs of life. After designated hitter Jeremy Alvarado got on base with one of his game-high two doubles. Marston was then able to drive Alvarado in with his first RBI in the last nine games.
“I came into the box and in the back of my mind I thought about the last 20 at-bats, you know, I hit the ball hard and nothing was dropping for me,” Marston said.
Missouri Western as a team has struggled to score runs this season as they are last in the MIAA with 173 runs scored. This is perplexing to manager Buzz Verduzco.
“We have to have the record for least amount of runs scored by an offense batting three-hundred,” Verduzco said.
Peoples flew through the next seven innings after allowing the first inning homerun. It was in the eighth inning that the Bronchos were able to tie the game at 2–2 with one out in the top of the eighth.
The Griffons were unable to break the tie in the bottom of the inning, but things would change in the ninth. Central Oklahoma pulled starter Holden Capps after pitch eight and a third innings.
Reliever Gibson Russ came into the game with runners on first and second. Marston, battled to make it a full count before hitting the game-winning homerun.
The win improved the Griffons’ record to 16–16 on the year. Missouri Western will attempt to take game two of the series tomorrow afternoon.