(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) The Lions managed to be Missouri Western's one-run kryptonite one last time Saturday.
Sam Ryan knocked a game-winning three-run home run in the ninth inning to beat the Griffons 6-3 in the final game of the MIAA Tournament.
The Griffons (40-10) won 11-2 earlier in the day to force a decisive matchup in the double-elimination tournament. Kyle Kelly pitched a complete shortened game due to the run rule, allowing Western more freedom with their staff to piece together a complete second tilt.
Mark Spreckels took the hill to start that game and managed to keep the Lions off the board through his 5 2/3 innings of work.
Western again struck in the first inning when Nate Ramler scored Kyle Simpson with an RBI single to center. The game would see another scoring gap over the next five and a half frames until the Griffons struck again. Simpson slapped his program-record 60th RBI of the year to score Shawn Egge and build a 2-0 lead.
The Lions (34-20) quickly came back to tie it in the bottom of the frame as Michael McCoy and Dallas Burke slapped RBIs off Mason Queen. Senior Logan Hollingsworth came on to relieve Queen after his lone inning on the bump, but he, too, was scored on by Ryan to put Western in a 3-2 hole.
Down to their last three outs, Egge led off the top of the ninth with a triple. Michael Schulze them drove him in with a single to center. The MIAA Player of the Year managed to reach third before being stranded when Ramler struck out to end the inning.
Hollingsworth managed to retire the first two Lions in the bottom of the ninth, but a pair of singles put Ryan in position to launch the game winner.
The Griffons now wait to see where they will be seeded in regional play with the NCAA Tournament Selection Show Sunday at 10 p.m. eastern time.
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