If any of the three Missouri teams in the NCAA Division II Baseball Regionals advance to the College World Series in Montgomery, Alabama, they’ll have to do it out of the losers’ bracket. Central Missouri St., Missouri Western and Rockhurst all suffered first-round losses on Thursday.
CMSU, which entered as the fifth-seed of the Central Regional in Emporia, Kansas, was dropped 8-6 by Minnesota St.-Mankato (41-11). The Mules (44-15) blew leads two leads on Thursday to see their 12-game winning streak come to an end. A solo home run by Bridger Hunt in the top of the first put CMSU on top. They later led 5-3 after scoring three runs in the sixth inning, but that lead was gone by the seventh. CMSU has advanced to the College World Series sixth straight seasons.
On Friday the Mules will take on sixth-seeded Missouri Western (30-24), which fell to top-seeded Emporia St. 16-5 in round one. Missouri Western tied the game twice with runs in the top of the second and the top of the fifth. However, ESU (45-11) blew the game out of the water in the bottom of the fifth inning with a seven-run rally to take a 9-2 lead. They added six more runs in the seventh inning to put it away. The loss was the fifth straight for the Griffons.
Rockhurst University of Kansas City fell victim to an amazing performance on the mound in a 2-0 loss to Grand Valley St. at the North Central Regional in Allendale, Michigan. Lakers’ starting pitcher Grant Payton held the sixth-seeded Hawks to a measly four hits en route to a complete-game shutout. Payton improved to a perfect 12-0 on the season. The Hawks (35-21) will face Northern Kentucky in an elimination game. Grand Valley St. improved to 45-8.