Stevenson, Fitzpatrick turn friendly competition into big numbers for Missouri Southern baseball

Stevenson (36) and Fitzpatrick (34) are #2 and #3 in the MIAA in RBI's.

JOPLIN, Mo. – It’s a friendly competition between junior Jordan Fitzpatrick and freshman Tommy Stevenson.

“We hang out a lot, and we like to give each other crap all the time and mess with each other,” Fitzpatrick says, “If he does something, I try and do something too. Just trying to one-up each other, it’s pretty fun.”

“It’s great to win and it’s fun to have those little competitions we have,” Stevenson adds.

Stevenson and Fitzpatrick are #2 and #3 in the MIAA in RBI’s for Missouri Southern (22-6).

“Those guys are both really good hitters,” says head coach Bryce Darnell, “They’ve kind of heated up at the same time. It’s fun to watch them.”

Fitzpatrick has driven in 34 runs and leads the league in doubles (14).

Stevenson has driven in 36 this season, but is right behind Fitzpatrick with 13 doubles in his first full season with the Lions.

“Probably a month into fall practice, we were like yeah he’s ready to hit in the middle of the order for us and to be a real good player for us,” Darnell says of his freshman.

“I’m just doing the best I can to help the team win,” Stevenson says, “We just know what we can do and we’re just happy that we’re performing well and doing what we know we can do.”

“I think we feed off each other,” Fitzpatrick says of Stevenson, “It doesn’t matter where we’re hitting in the lineup, everybody wants to get on for the guy behind them. Driving guys in is just what we take pride in doing.”

Both of them have eight home runs on the year.

As a team, Missouri Southern is one of just two teams in the league with more than 50 home runs – hitting 53 in 28 games.

“There are not a lot of holes in our lineup,” Fitzpatrick says, “We all try to be as consistent as possible.”

“We play at a stadium that’s a hitters ballpark,” Stevenson says of playing at Warren Turner Field, “They recruit us to be these…aggressive, great hitters.”

“We know we can drive the gaps and drive the ball over the wall,” Fitzpatrick adds, “I think we can do that one-through-nine for the most part.”

“We got guys that can really crush the ball on this team,” Stevenson adds, “I’m happy to be a part of this team. We have some incredible athletes.”

“There are some hitter-friendly parks in our league, and this is one of them, but you have to be able to make solid contact,” Darnell says about his team, “You can put some numbers up in our park, for sure, as well as some other parks in our league. We’re for sure glad Fitz and Tommy are playing for us.”

Missouri Southern hosts a three-game series against Northeastern State this weekend. The Lions will play a double-header against the Riverhawks Saturday, before hosting the series finale on Sunday afternoon.