The Fort Hays State Tigers held off a late rally
by the Missouri Western Griffons and claimed a 4-3 victory in an
elimination game at the MIAA Baseball Tournament Saturday afternoon (May
10) at Community America Ballpark. Missouri Western finished its season
with an overall record of 25-24 with the defeat.

Fort Hays State’s junior first baseman Dusty Washburn had a pair of
solo home runs in the game, the first with two outs in the opening frame
and second with one out in the sixth. His shots bookended a two-run shot
by junior catcher A.J. Levanduski in the second inning to stake the
Tigers to a 4-0 lead.

Western was limited to three hits in the first seven innings — all
singles — off of Tigers sophomore RHP Matt Augustine (5-7). The
Griffons finally broke loose in the top of the eighth, but a mistake
early in the frame may have cost them a chance for at least a tie.

Junior leftfielder Adan Mercado led off with a double down the
rightfield line, but was picked off soon after by Augustine. Senior
second baseman Matt Radel then fanned on three pitches to quickly put
Western in a two-out hole.

Sophomore catcher Cory Elmendorf drew a walk and went to third on a
single to right-center by junior centerfielder Troy Landi. Senior third
baseman Adam Carolan then spoiled the shutout with a double to
left-center to bring home both base runners and make it 4-2.

Senior right fielder Ben Toedebusch then doubled home Carolan to make
it 4-3 and chase Augustine from the game for sophomore RHP Donnie

Senior first baseman Tommy Bone stepped to the plate and stroked a
single to left field. Junior Drew Loller, pinch running for Toedebusch,
was thrown out at home with the potential tying run.

Western had another chance to tie the game in the ninth when Moore hit
junior shortstop Andrew Elmendorf to lead off the frame. That’s when
FHSU brought in junior left-handed pitcher Eric Gilliland, and he
promptly pounced on an attempted bunt by junior pinch hitter Joey
Pilatti and pegged the lead runner at second.
Gilliland then fanned Mercado and induced a liner to second by junior
pinch-hitter Greg Euker to get his first save of the year.

Western senior right-handed pitcher Everett Saul (8-4) went the
distance for the Griffons, allowing eight hits and four runs with six
strikeouts and no walks, taking the loss.

Augustine fanned a career high 11 and walked one in 7 2/3 innings,
allowing seven hits and three runs.
Along with Washburn, freshman catcher Ryan Majercik had two hits in
four at bats for the Tigers. Landi and Mercado each went 2-for-4 as well
for Western.