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Lincoln baseball earns split with Lindenwood

It was a day of similarity at Lincoln Field.

When the Lincoln and Lindenwood baseball teams locked horns for a doubleheader Monday, each team got a win.

And each team got a win by the score of 7-6.

And each winning team had to rally late to get that win.

In the first game, originally scheduled for just seven innings, the Blue Tigers forced extra play by tying it in the seventh and winning it in the eighth.

After Lindenwood took a 3-0 lead after one run in the first and two in the second, Lincoln started to chip away.

The Blue Tigers got single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to tie it at 3.

James Earlywine got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the second, Clint Cashen had a sacrifice fly in the third and Caleb Kemna did the same in the fourth.

But the Lions took the lead right back with three runs in the top of the fifth to go up 6-3.

A run in the bottom of the fifth for Lincoln, on an RBI single by Cashen, cut the Lindenwood lead to 6-4.

It stayed that way until the bottom of the seventh. Colby Shepherd led off with a solo home run to left field to get Lincoln to within one.

One out later, Cashen and Josh Kennedy had back-to-back singles to put Cashen at third. When a failed pickoff attempt at first got away, Cashen came home with the tying run.

Then in the eighth, Earlywine reached on a one-out error and moved to second when Andrew St. Pierre walked. After another out, Earlywine came home with the winning run when Ben Stewart lashed a hit down the left-field line.

Shepherd paced an 11-hit Lincoln attack by going 3-for-5 with one RBI, while Cashen went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Jacob Busch (1-1) got the win in relief, working the final two innings without allowing a hit or a run. He walked two and struck out one.

Cameron Moss pitched the first six innings, giving up six earned runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out two.

Because the first game went extra innings, the second was shortened to seven innings due to league rules.

But that didn’t cut down on the suspense, as another later rally proved to be the difference. This time it was Lindenwood pulling out the 7-6 win, as a five-run sixth decided it.

Lincoln looked to be in great shape after racking up four runs in the bottom of the first. A three-run homer by Ben Wright and an RBI single by Stewart did the damage.

But the Lions got one in the third, one in the fourth and the aforementioned five in the sixth to go up 7-4. Three hits, two walks, a hit batter and a costly two-run error accounted for the sixth inning.

The Blue Tigers cut the lead to one in the sixth on a two-run single by Cody Huff, but the next batter grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Lincoln then went down 1-2-3 in the final frame to end it.

Huff was the only Lincoln batter had multiple hits, as the Blue Tigers got outhit 9-7, as he was 2-for-3 with two RBI.

Nathan Lueckenhoff pitched five strong innings to start the game for Lincoln, giving up just two earned runs on six hits whiel striking out three and walking two.

Blake Jones (0-6) followed and took the loss, as he did not record an out while giving up four earned runs on two hits, a walk and a batter who reached safely on a fielder’s choice.

Cashen finished up, pitching two innings and allowing just one unearned run on one hit while striking out one.

The split put Lincoln at 3-20 overall and 3-17 in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, while Lindenwood is now 13-14 and 12-10 in league play.

The Blue Tigers will play a three-game series Saturday and Sunday at Fort Hays (Kan.) State.

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