No. 15 Lions head to Kansas City to take on Washburn in MIAA Tournament

Press Release MSSU:
The 15th ranked Missouri Southern baseball team will head to Kansas City tomorrow to take on Washburn University in the 2015 MIAA Tournament. First-pitch from Community America Ballpark is slated for 11 am.

Game Information

Teams: #15 Missouri Southern (38-11) vs. Washburn (32-18)

Date : Thursday, May 7
First Pitch: 11 am
Location: Kansas City, Kan.
Site: Community America Ballpark (6,537)
Series Record:Southern leads 45-34
Coaches: Bryce Darnell (234-182 overall/at MSSU). Harley Douglas (32-18 overall/at WU)

Media Coverage

MSSU Radio: AM 1560 – ESPN – Ron Fauss – Play-by-play, Rob Forrest – Color Commentary
Internet Audio:
Live Stats:
Lions on Facebook:
Lions on Twitter: @mososports; @mssubaseball

About the Lions : In Bryce Darnell’s eighth season at the helm of the Lions, Southern is in the MIAA Tournament for the fifth time, having made the field in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Southern won the tournament in 2013. The Lions are the MIAA Regular Season Champions and are ranked 15th nationally by the baseball writers and 17th by the coaches. Southern is 26-5 at Warren Turner Field and are 12-6 on the road this year. The MSSU pitching staff is one of the best in Division II this year. The Lions rank in the top ten nationally in three different pitching categories including shutouts (9th), k/bb ratio (3rd) and walks/9 innings (6th). The team also ranks 4th nationally in fielding percentage. Individually, Cody Hutchinson ranks 5th nationally in wins (10), while Hutchinson and Payton Walker rank 10th in complete games. Jesse Rall ranks 17th and 24th in home runs and slugging.

About the Ichabods : Washburn is coming off of a two-game sweep at Missouri Western in the first-round of the MIAA Tournament. The Ichabods earned the fifth seed to the MIAA Tournament this year and won in extra innings in game one and 9-1 in the clincher. Kyle Carnahan is leading the team with a .385 batting average and 53 RBIs. He is second on the team with 10 home runs. David Gauntt has a team-leading 14 home runs and is third in RBIs with 50. Tanner Kilmer leads the pitching staff with an 8-3 record and 2.43 ERA, however most of his appearances have been in relief. Mike Hefferan is 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA in 9 starts.

Last time vs. WU : The Lions swept the series from the Ichabods earlier in the season at Turner Field. Southern won game one 11-9, but won the final three games in convincing fashion.

Series History : The Lions lead the overall series with the Ichabods by a margin of 45-34. Southern is 28-8 at home, they are 15-24 in Topeka and 2-3 versus the Ichabods in neutral site games. The Lions hold a 4-2 record against Washburn in MIAA Tournament games.

A Win Means: Southern will move on to face the winner of the Emporia State/Central Missouri game in the winner’s bracket final.

Fielding Numbers : The Lions are on pace to break the school record for fielding percentage this year as Southern leads the MIAA and is 4th in D-2 with a .974 mark.

Pitching Prowess : The Lions lead the MIAA in hits allowed per nine (fewest), walks allowed per nine innings (fewest), win/loss percentage, WHIP, strikeouts per nine innings, strikeout to walk ratio, ERA and shutouts. The team ranks 6th nationally in walks per nine, while ranking 3rd in k/bb ratio and 9th in shutouts.

Winning Streaks : The Lions started the season on an 11-game winning streak that ranks as the sixth-longest winning streak in Southern baseball history. Southern won 22 games in a row in 1989 and 20-straight in 1994. The 1991 and 95 teams each had 19-game winning streaks, while the 1992 team won 16-straight.

Strike Em Out : The Lions are on pace to break the school record for strikeouts per nine innings this year as the team is averaging 8.7 this season to rank 16th nationally. The 377 total strikeouts is 31 from the single-season record in that category.

Tino Martinez Semi finalist : Missouri Southern center fielder Chris Hoffman is a semi-finalist for the Division II Player of the Year Award – the Tino Martinez Award. Hoffman is currently hitting .430 with 8 home runs and 39 RBIs. He leads the team with 51 runs, 74 hits 3 triples and 14 doubles.

MIAA Leaders : The Lions lead the MIAA in eight different pitching categories, as well as most walks (offensively) and fielding percentage. Southern ranks second in on-base percentage.

Individual MIAA Offensive Leaders : Tee Helsel leads the MIAA in walks, while Hoffman is second in batting average. Hoffman ranks second in hits, while Jesse Rall ranks third in both home runs and home runs per game. He ranks second slugging, third in RBIs per game and 4th in total RBIs.

Individual MIAA Pitching Leaders : Cody Hutchinson leads the MIAA in wins and ERA, while he and Payton Walker lead the league in complete games. Walker is 1st in WHIP, while Hutchinson ranks third. Walker, Tyler Burgess and Hutchinson rank 3-4 in strikeouts.

NCAA Team Leaders : As a team, the Lions rank sixth in walks allowed, 9th in shutouts, 3rd in strikeout to walk ratio, and 4th in fielding percentage. They also rank 10th in win-loss percentage, 10th in most walks, 16th in WHIP, 16th in strikeouts per nine, 25th in home runs and home runs per game, while ranking 22nd in on base percentage.

NCAA Individual Leaders : Individually, Cody Hutchinson is 5th nationally in wins. He and Payton Walker rank 5th in complete games, while Jesse Rall ranks 16th in home runs per game, 17th in home runs and 24th in slugging. Chris Hoffman ranks 34th in hits and 24th in batting average.

Southern at the MIAA Tournament : The Lions played in their first MIAA Tournament in 1990 where they placed second and advanced to the South Central Regional. Overall, Southern has a 3-24 mark at the MIAA Tournament. Below is how the Lions have fared against league competition at the tournament.