A walk-off single by senior second baseman Tyler Anthony in the bottom of the ninth gave the fourth-ranked Central Missouri Mules an opening round 3-2 victory over Tarleton State in the NCAA South Central Regional on Thursday at V.J. Keefe Memorial Stadium.
The fifth-seeded Texans (35-14) tied the game 2-2 in the top of the ninth on a single up the middle, but the second-seeded Mules got a one-out hit from Frank Specht in the bottom half, followed by walks to Will Mulligan and Luke Schlechte to load the bases for Anthony. With the corners in, he roped a ground ball past the first baseman down the line to drive in the winning run.
The Mules (46-8) got an outstanding start from senior southpaw Danny Potje, who gave up a run in the first inning on two infield singles, and then shut out the Texans for the next five innings. He struck out six and walked only one, and left the contest with a 2-1 lead.
The Mules got a run in the third on an RBI double from Nick DeBiasse, scoring Tyler Ruch, who got on via an error by the right fielder. Ruch gave the Mules a lead in the fifth on a sacrifice fly.
Junior lefty Travis Unthank came in to start the seventh for UCM, and ended up throwing the next three innings. He didn’t allow a hit until the ninth, when the Texans tied it up with two in the frame. He got the win though, moving his record to 3-0.
Central Missouri generated seven hits in the game, including four walks, while Tarleton State had nine hits overall, four of which came on the infield.
DeBiasse was the only player with multiple hits for the Mules, going 2-of-4.
Central Missouri will face Emporia State for the sixth time this season on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in the winner’s bracket. ESU knocked off Southeastern Oklahoma State by a 10-2 score in the opening round.