TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - The Fort Hays State baseball team dropped a back-and-forth battle in Saturday's series finale against Northeastern State, 7-6.
The Tigers led 3-1 and later 6-4, but the RiverHawks scored the final three runs to steal the victory.
The Tigers took the lead just one batter into the game when Drake Angeron sent a sharp grounder just inside first base and into the right-field corner. The right fielder legged out a triple before coming into score on an errant throw, giving FHSU a quick 1-0 lead. Jacob Bouzide followed with a single before Grant Schmidt worked a walk. Ed Scott doubled the lead two batters later with a single to right, driving in Schmidt.
The RiverHawks got one run back in the bottom of the first before the Tigers stretched their lead to 3-1 in the top of the third when Kade Wallace sent a two-out home run soaring over the fence in left center, his third long ball of the season.
Northeastern State took its first lead at 4-3 after a three-run home run in the bottom of the third, but Fort Hays State responded with three runs of its own in the fourth. Garrett Stephens led off with a walk before Corbin Truslow singled to right. Traelon Yarbrough followed with a double to center, driving in Stephens and tying the score at four.
Angeron drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single up the middle, plating Truslow. Yarbrough came around to score on a fielder's choice from Schmidt, giving the Tigers a 6-4 lead. Northeastern State pulled within one with a single run in the home half of the fourth before the score held steady at 6-5 until the seventh inning, when NSU went back on top with a pair of runs.
The Tigers had the tying run on base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but RiverHawk pitcher Dakodah Jones capped off five scoreless innings of relief to secure the win.
Padraic Walsh tossed five innings in his first start of the season, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out five batters. Jacob Ensz (0-3) took the loss after giving up two runs (one earned) over 1.2 innings of work. Jake Steinbring tossed a hitless final 1.1 innings, surrendering just two walks.
Yarbrough finished the day 2-for-3 with a double, one RBI and one run. Angeron also collected two of FHSU's nine base hits.
The Tigers will continue their road trip next weekend when they head to St. Joseph, Mo. to take on Missouri Western. The Tigers and Griffons will open the series with a single game on Friday at 5 p.m. before wrapping things up with a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.