Central Missouri claimed a share of the MIAA title after completing a sweep over Missouri Western.
The Mules (31-12, 29-7 MIAA) avoided an incoming thunderstorm with a noon start – as opposed to 2 p.m. – to a Friday doubleheader against the Griffons. UCM won game one 6-4 and earned the sweep with a 6-2 victory in game two.
Central Missouri 6, Missouri Western 4
All the scoring was done in the first three innings in a 6-4 game one Mules victory.
Orencio Fisher’s RBI double gave the Griffon’s an early lead. He scored on a Nick Gawley groundout and Missouri Western led 2-0 in the first.
Jake Alexander answered with a 2-run homer in the bottom half of the frame, and Derek Cornell scored on an error to take back the lead, 3-2.
The Mules increased the lead to 5-2 on a Matt Elliot 2-run homer. Central Missouri delivered their final blow in the third when Derek Cornell scored on a balk.
Ethan Westphal struck out 10 and pitched his first career complete game. He allowed four runs on 10 hits and four walks and tossed 110 pitches.
Central Missouri 6, Missouri Western 2
The Mules topped off senior day with two more homers, this time with some historic flare in a 6-2 victory.
Dylan Farrell sent a Weston Caindec offering into the left-center field wall and profited off the bounce in the fifth inning.
Farrell punctuated his inside-the-park home run with an uncontested slide into home.
“I knew I hit it good, but the wind was blowing in, so I knew I had to run,” Farrell said. “Soon as I rounded second base I saw it kick off the wall and I kind of turned it into second gear there.
“Waving me home at third base is always a sight to see, and I just kept going, no regrets.”
Kellan Richards relived Caindec after one out in the fifth. Bennett Oliver responded with a 2-run homer to right and pushed the score to 6-1. It was No. 19 for Oliver, second-most in a season for a Central Missouri player. The UCM single-season home run record is 20.
Missouri Western’s offense hobbled in crunch time, as Kody Matthews sustained a groin injury on a foul ball with the bases loaded and two outs. He struck out in two pitches after a more than 5 minute break allowed to Matthews to recover.
Carlos D’Armas (3-2) earned the win after six 1-run innings. He struck out four and walked one in his outing. Luke Mercer tossed a scoreless inning in the seventh and Lucas Williams allowed one run in the ninth before shutting the door on Missouri Western.
The Mules enter a 3-game series at second-place Washburn (30-25, 25-10 MIAA) next Friday having clinched at least a share of the MIAA regular season title.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2