By Alex Neupert, Sports Editor
The University of Missouri—St. Louis baseball team split the first two games of a four game series against Rockhurst University on April 16. The Tritons came into the matchup with a 3-3 homestand record that started earlier in the month and hold a 22-11 record on the season after Saturday’s games. They find themselves in the middle of the Great Lakes Valley Conference pack with a 6-8 conference record.
UMSL took the first game behind seven strikeouts from Kurt McGuire, senior, business administration, who threw very well on the mound in eight innings of work. He allowed the opposing Hawks only four hits and a single earned run, while his own offense tallied six runs in response. Ultimately, the Tritons would keep Rockhurst at bay over the final innings to win 6-2.
The second game turned into quite the pitcher’s duel as the game stayed scoreless through the first seven innings of the nightcap. Jake Renfrow, junior, business administration, matched his opposite Henry Weiler of Rockhurst through his six innings of scoreless work. While he gave up four hits and walked four batters, Renfrow managed to keep the baserunners scattered and managed to eke out the game unscathed. Jon Shanker, junior, accounting, came in for two innings of relief and surrendered three runs, and while UMSL responded with their own run in the bottom of the eighth, they could not push across the two final baserunners as they lost 1-3.
McGuire started off the first matchup very strong, getting to the fifth inning untouched. Rockhurst, however, finally connected on a well-hit double down the line by Weiler to break up the no-hitter. UMSL’s offense helped their starter get an early lead in a similar vein to the St. Louis Cardinals, plating three runs in the bottom of the third inning with two outs.
Jake Beckwith, junior, undecided, gave the Tritons the chance they needed by doubling to left field. Two walks later, third baseman Tanner Hudson, junior, biochem, lifted a ball to deep left center for a bases-clearing double for the first scoring of the day. They would score two more in the next inning, one off a single from Dominic Orlando, senior, communications, who would cross the plate himself after a costly throwing error allowed all the UMSL baserunners to advance.
While the evening match turned out to be less exciting for most of the game, Rockhurst finally got the cogs going in the bottom of the eighth. Their first batter doubled and stole third base, setting himself up for an easy score off a single from Seth Soto. Mitch Stickney would score two more runs on his own single next before the Tritons could get out of the inning. Hudson again got involved in scoring with a hard hit down the right side to get UMSL on the board. But that was all the home team could muster; with both Hudson and Jose Ortiz, senior, biology, at the corners, Rockhurst got the next batter to hit into an easy force out to end it.
The two teams faced off again on Sunday (results pending), April 17. UMSL’s next game is the last of the current homestand as they take on the Greyhounds of the University of Indiana on April 19 at 12:00 p.m.