HAYS -- The Fort Hays State baseball team dropped both ends of a doubleheader against No. 23 Colorado School of Mines on Sunday, falling 20-11 in a game one slugfest before a narrow 6-5 defeat in game two.
The Tigers are now 5-3 on the year, while the Orediggers improved to 5-2 this season.
After opening the year with five consecutive wins, the Tigers will look to open a new winning streak next weekend (Feb. 14-16) when they host New Mexico Highlands in a four-game series. The series begins with a single game at 3 p.m. on Friday before a noon doubleheader on Saturday and a noon finale on Sunday.
Game One: No. 23 Colorado School of Mines 20, Fort Hays State 11
The Orediggers took advantage of the stiff north wind blowing out at Larks Park, clubbing seven home runs in the first game of the day. Fort Hays State did not get its offense going as early as the visitors, but the Tigers managed to match their season high with 11 runs across the final four innings.
The Tigers scored two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and six in the seventh, but it was too little, too late after Mines tallied 10 runs over the first four innings and added 10 more across the sixth and seventh.
After Mines starter Drew Hill faced just one over the minimum over the first three innings, Fort Hays State got on the board in the fourth on a sacrifice fly from Traelon Yarbrough and an RBI single from Tyler Olson. Garrett Stephens added an RBI double in the following inning, helping the Tigers close within 10-3.
Mines got their bats going again in the sixth, pushing across five runs. Jeb Sauer helped the Tigers respond in the home half with a home run in his first at bat as a Tiger, crushing an 0-1 pitch over the fence in left. Olson followed with another solo shot before driving in two more in the seventh, finishing the game with four RBI.
Hill (2-0) picked up the win after striking out 12 over five innings of work. Padraic Walsh (0-1) took the loss after allowing nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits over three innings of work. The junior starter struck out five batters on the day. Ryan Brown, Tanner Lukowski and Cade Peters combined to throw the final four innings, with Lukowski tallying three strikeouts over two frames.
Game Two: No. 23 Colorado School of Mines 6, Fort Hays State 5
The Tigers got off to another slow start in game two, but were able to fight back and tie things up by the sixth inning. Mines pushed across the eventual winning run in the seventh inning before both offenses were stymied in the late innings.
Mines rattled off seven hits over the first three innings to push across five runs. The Tigers started to claw back in the home half of the third when Jaxson Webb worked a walk. Garrett Stephens got the Tigers on the board with a two-out home run down the left field line, helping FHSU close within 5-2.
Fort Hays State tied things up with three runs in the sixth inning after Drake Angeron led off with an infield single. The leadoff hitter swiped second before scoring on an RBI double from Stephens. The Tigers tied things up in the following at bat when Grant Schmidt crushed a home run to left center, knotting things up at 5-5.
The Orediggers went right back in front with a run in the seventh when the nine-hole hitter came through with a two-out RBI single. The Tigers managed two baserunners over the final three innings, but were unable to advance anyone past first.
Ethan Booe made the start for the Tigers, tossing 2.1 innings and giving up four runs on six hits. Cole Zimmerman (0-1) was credited with the loss after allowing two runs on four hits scattered across 4.2 innings of work. Jacob Ensz recorded the final five outs for the Tigers, allowing one hit while striking out four of the six batters he faced.
Mines starter Tyler Blomster (2-0) tossed eight strong innings, allowing five runs on six hits while striking out 10. Zachary Kriethe picked up his second save of the season after allowing just one baserunner in the ninth.