The No. 11-ranked Missouri Southern baseball team completed the series sweep and set a few records along the way as the Lions took both ends of a double-header with visiting Newman, winning game one 5-2 and then the nightcap 29-11.
The Lions (21-6, 15-6 MIAA) set new school records for home runs in a game (8) and total bases in a game (53) en route to the game two win. The Lions broke the previous home run record set in 2017 against Missouri Western (7) and the previous total base record set in 1992 against Missouri-St. Louis (52).
Game one saw a brilliant outing from Corey Cowan as he started his first game of the year and went six innings to pick up the win and move to 1-0 on the season. He struck out eight batters and allowed just two runs on four hits. Scott Duensing went an inning, while Logan VanWey got the save with two innings, striking out five in the process.
Kusiak started things off with a two-RBI single in the first and the Jets (5-15, 4-14 MIAA) countered with a run in the third to cut the lead in half. The Lions answered back with three runs in the fourth to put the game away. Milas, Willis and Fitzpatrick had back-to-back-to-back RBI doubles in the inning.
Game two saw the Lions explode for 21 runs over the fifth and sixth innings to put the game away.
The game was tied at eight heading to the bottom of the fifth before the run explosion began. Kusiak had a three-run home run in the first to start the scoring, but Newman answered back with a two-run homer in the second.
The Lions then got a home run from Ryan Hunter in the second, followed by RBI singles from Gagan and Kusiak to go up 6-2 after two.
Newman got three runs in the fourth to get within a run before the Lions scored two runs in the fourth to lead 8-5 after four.
The Jets tied the score in the top of the fifth, but that’s when the Lions went to work. Southern scored five runs in the fifth highlighted by back-to-back-to-back home runs from Fitzpatrick, Gagan and Stevenson. The Lions batted around twice in the sixth en route to scoring 16 runs in the inning. Gagan had a bases-clearing triple and scored on a wild pitch before Kusiak and Kinder had back-to-back homers to put the score at 20-8. Stevenson added another homer in the inning, as well.
Will Bausinger started and went three innings before exiting. Cole Woods threw two innings in relief and Ryan Paschal and Chase Beiter threw an inning each. Paschal picked up the win to move to 1-0 on the season.
Kusiak went 5-for-5 with two home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored. Stevenson was 4-for-5 with two homers, five runs scored and three RBIs. Both Stevenson and Kusiak tied an MSSU record with five runs scored in the game. Fitzpatrick and Gagan drove in five each, while Fitzpatrick and Gagan had four and three runs scored each. Kaleb Baker had three runs himself.
The Lions will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon when Southern ventures out of conference action to play host to Drury. First pitch from Warren Turner Field is slated for 3 p.m.