The third-ranked and top-seeded Central Missouri Mules took care of the sixth-seeded Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 12-2 in the opening round of the MIAA Baseball Tournament at Community America Ballpark in Kansas City.

The Mules (43-7) allowed a run on an RBI single up the middle by the Bearcats (20-33) in the top of the first inning, but that would be the only lead of the day for the visitors. UCM scored two in the bottom half thanks to an RBI single from junior third baseman Frank Specht and an RBI walk from junior right fielder Jon Wegener.

Senior right-hander Brooks Martin was solid in the outing, giving up only two runs while striking out eight, and the offense gave him plenty of support. The Mules tallied four more runs in the second frame to spell NWMSU starter Chase Anderson after 1.2 innings. The frame was highlighted by an RBI double from junior right fielder Tyler Ruch and a two-RBI single from junior catcher Eric Cole. 

Martin pitched effectively with men on base most of the day, not allowing a run on five hits in the final four frames. He moved to 10-0, tossing his second complete game of the season.  MIAA Player of the Year Chance Tuttle tagged a solo homer to lead off the third frame for UCM, and scored his second run of the day in the fifth, leading off a five-run inning with a walk. He scored on a two-RBI double from Specht in that frame, before Wegener crushed a two-run homer down the left field line to make it 12-2 a couple batters later. 

The Mules will play Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. against the loser of the Nebraska-Omaha vs. Fort Hays State contest. Story courtesy of Central Missouri’s athletic department.