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Griffs Take 2 From Riverhawks, Part Ways with Hawkins

Missouri Western beat Northeastern State in Friday's home opener.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Missouri Western opened its home slate without its most experienced pitcher, but still started strong beating Northeastern State 6-4 and 14-6 in a doubleheader Friday.

In his first start as a Griffon, Tyler Sanders gave up one earned run on five hits in a complete game victory in the early contest.

A pitching gem wasn't required in game two as Western (4-3) jumped on Northeastern 10-1 in a first frame that included three two-RBI hits.

Tyler Tuepker, another newcomer, picked up the win for the Griffs pitching four shutout innings in relief of Mark Spreckels.

Senior Jerad Hawkins, the only hurler entering the season that threw more than 50 innings for the club in 2013,  is no longer with the Griffons after violating team rules. He was let go prior to the start of the home stand.

"What we try to do in our program, we want everybody to try to be on the same page, and sometimes when you're not on the same page you have to do things for the betterment of the club," head coach Buzz Verduzco said of Hawkins' situation. "In this case we thought we did that."

Kyle Kelly and Josh Lansangan also came out of the bullpen to pitch in the second game Friday.

Ryan Degner was the offensive star for Missouri Western collecting five hits in two games, with the bulk of his damage coming in the latter. The transfer from Mt. Hood Community College went 4-4 at the plate driving in six runs in the second contest.

Missouri Western and Northeastern State meet for two more games Saturday afternoon at the Spring Sports Complex in St. Joseph.
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