JOPLIN, Mo. - RELEASE FROM MISSOURI SOUTHERN ATHLETICS:
The 11th-ranked Missouri Southern baseball team will play host to a crucial matchup at Warren Turner Field this weekend as the Lions will welcome in the No. 21 ranked Central Missouri Mules in a battle of two of the MIAA's top three teams.
The Lions (23-8, 14-4 MIAA) lead the MIAA by two games over Central (20-10, 12-6 MIAA) and Emporia State (18-11, 12-6 MIAA). Southern leads the MIAA in walks, home runs, home runs per game, strikeout to walk ratio, strikeouts per nine innings and fewest walks per nine innings. The Lions are in the top three of 24 different categories and are the only team in the MIAA to rank in the top three in both batting average and ERA.
The Lions are hitting .291 as a team and have a 3.91 ERA. Freshman Dexter Swims leads the Lions offensively with a .400 batting average. He has 50 hits this year, including 11 doubles, a triple and three home runs, while driving in 22 RBIs, good for second on the team.
Freddie Landers (.348), Troy Gagan (.322), Matt Miller (.313) and Denver Coffee (.302) are all hitting over .300 with Landers leading the team in home runs with six. Ryan Hunter, the reigning MIAA Player of the Week is second with five home runs, while Gagan and Miller both have four long balls on the season. The Lions are dangerous on the base paths, as well, stealing 34-of-42 attempts on the season. Swims (5-for-5), Landers (3-for-3), Miller (1-for-1), Coffee (3-for-3), Calem Nutting (1-for-1) and Davin Gummere (7-for-7) are all perfect on the bases this year.
Gummere is third nationally in walks, while Zach Parish and Zac Shoemaker rank eighth nationally in games started. Swims is ninth in hits, while Parish ranks fourth and Will Bausinger ranks 14th nationally in strikeouts.
Central Missouri comes in hitting .323 as a team and the Mules have a 4.01 team ERA. Erik Webb has a .416 batting average with ten home runs and 37 RBIs. Mason Janvrin is hitting .405 as six Mules are hitting .300 or more. Mason Green is 6-0 on the season with a 1.91 ERA, including 54 strikeouts.
All three games will feature live stats, live video and live audio. Links can be found above in the story. This game also marks the first of nine games being broadcast on Fox Sports Joplin this year. There will be a 20-minute pre-game show and the games will be broadcast on 101.3 and 107.9 FM, 1340 and 1560 AM.
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