Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO baseball gets shut out to Murray, snapping win streak at four

Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Junior catcher Nolan Ackerman prepares to bunt. Ackerman went 0-3 today, as the Redhawks only managed three hits the whole game.
Photo by Beto Vaca Diez

The Redhawks lost to the Murray State Racers 5-0 at home May 2, ending their winning streak at four.

The game remained scoreless throughout the first five innings; however, the action was on the defensive side. Junior pitcher Payton Lawrence commanded the Redhawks from the mound, allowing one hit through five innings. Lawrence pitched seven innings, notching 10 strikeouts.

“I was focusing, I was just trying to beat the bottom of the zone, moved the fastball around today,” Lawrence said. “Best I’ve felt all year, for sure.”

The Racers broke through in the top of the sixth inning, hitting a two-run home run to bring the score to 2-0.

The Redhawks seemed like they were going to have an immediate response, as the bases were loaded with two outs; however, it ultimately amounted to nothing, as a fly-out stranded all three runners.

The Redhawks in the next two innings failed to get men on base, as the first three hitters lined out or struck out in the seventh and eighth innings.

The Racers extended their lead in the top of the ninth inning, scoring a runner early off of an RBI single, then, after loading the bases, hitting another RBI single to score two more runs, ending the game at 5-0.

After a weekend series where the Redhawks scored a combined 42 runs in three games, they failed to score today, May 2, registering only three hits. Senior outfielder Brett Graber who had a phenomenal series against Lindenwood, said that it was simply an off night for the Redhawks.

“Sometimes, you just don’t have it.” Graber said. “It’s one of those nights where we got a little bit emotional at times. It's just something we need to compete a little bit better where the other team is making tough pitches. I gotta take a hat off to Murray; they pitched it really good.”

Head Coach Andy Sawyers was a bit shocked why the team struggled as much as they did, considering the great run of form they have been in.

“I’m surprised at the result, they (Murray) did a nice job, they had some good guys, but it’s nothing we haven't seen before. I’m not sure why we struggled so bad tonight,” Sawyers said

The Redhawks’ next matchup is against Kansas State. The Wildcats are currently third in the Big 12 Conference, holding a record 28-18, with a depth of personnel, in both hitting and pitching.

“Their [pitchers] are gonna have more velocity, but I think we’re fine; I think Noah Niznik and Esteban Hernandez and Hayden Dow, those guys are being very consistent and giving us quality starts. I think you’re gonna see more arm talent and depth out of them, but I think our guys can hold their own in there,” Sawyer said.

The team seemed eager for the challenge ahead, ready for the opportunity to play against a team with the depth and resume that Kansas State has.

“I’m just really excited to get the opportunity to play in an environment like that,” Graber said. “I know that the guys are really excited to get on the road and play a big school and see how we match up against a team in the Big 12.”

The Redhawks’ next game is Friday May 5, against Kansas State, the first of a three-game series, at 6 p.m. in Manhattan, Kan.