Central Missouri’s Kurtis Schuyler threw a complete game four-hitter to win a pitcher’s dual with Emporia State’s Zach Gove and Brett Kinsel and lead the Mules to a 2-1 victory over the Hornets Saturday afternoon at CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
Schuyler struck out five ESU batters with one hit batsman. At the plate, Tyler Ruch led Central Missouri by going 2-for-3 with an RBI squeeze bunt that scored the winning run in the bottom of the fifth.
Gove went 4.1 innings for Emporia State, allowing six hits and two runs while striking out three. Kinsel pitched 3.2 shutout innings in relief, allowing just one hit.
Central Missouri got on the board first in the bottom of the second when Frank Specht went deep for the second consecutive game, this time a solo shot over the fence in straightaway center.
After two scoreless innings, Emporia State would respond in the top of the fifth with an RBI single by Kevin Wempe.
UCM answered in the bottom of the fifth with Ruch’s game-winning bunt.
Central Missouri advances to the MIAA Baseball Tournament Championship Game for the18th consecutive season. The Mules will face the winner of the elimination game between Emporia State and Nebraska-Omaha.
The winner will have to beat UCM twice to claim the title. The championship game is set for Sunday at 1 p.m., with the “if necessary” game set to begin 30 minutes after the completion of the first game.