Baseball Looks to Bounce Back Against No. 15 Emporia State

FHSU Sports Information Department

1HAYS, Kan. – The Fort Hays State baseball team faces off with No. 15 Emporia State in a three-game series this weekend (March 17-19) at Larks Park. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. Friday before a 1 p.m. start Saturday and a noon finale Sunday.

The Tigers enter the weekend 7-14 this season and 1-8 in conference play, while the Hornets carry a 16-4 mark on the year and are 5-1 in the MIAA. FHSU is looking to kick a four-game losing skid, while ESU has emerged victorious in eight of their last 10 games.

Fort Hays State has only played two schools more than Emporia State in program history, with the Hornets leading the all-time series 108-67. The Tigers are 5-16 against ESU under head coach Steve Johnson, including a 3-9 mark at Larks Park.

The Tigers sport four everyday players batting .300 or better, including Dayton Pomeroy ranking 26th in the MIAA with a .351 batting average. Clayton Basgall is tied for first in the league with four triples on the year, while Nick Hammeke sits in seventh with eight doubles. Pomeroy’s team-leading five home runs is tied for seventh in the conference. Ty Redington (12 SB) and Jake Lanferman (11 SB) are second and third, respectively, in stolen bases.

Sam Capps leads the Tiger starters with a 4.32 ERA this season, also leading the team with 26 strikeouts. Basgall has limited opponents to a .240 batting average in seven appearances to lead the team, earning three saves in the process. Alex Ruxlow’s three wins are tied for sixth in the MIAA.

The Hornets have arguably the best offense in the conference, leading the league in batting average, runs, hits, home runs, RBI and stolen bases. ESU has 10 qualifying players batting .300 or better, including Alex White’s league-best .514 batting average. DJ Bean has hit a team-best seven home runs this year, second most in the league. The ESU pitchers have accumulated a 4.72 ERA this season, leading the MIAA with four shutouts and six saves. Tanner Cairns has a 2.57 ERA in three starts and 28 innings on the year, while reliever Nathan Whitcomb has a 0.69 ERA and four saves in 13 innings out of the pen.

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