Wild ride in the ninth ends with a Loper win

Josh Estrada hits an RBI single March 18, 2017 playing against Central Missouri (NTV News)

UNK threw a five spot on the board in the bottom of the ninth, capped with a single by designated hitter Dallas Schramm, to topple second-ranked Central Missouri, 11-10 Saturday at Memorial Field.

With the unlikely comeback, the Lopers improve to 8-13 (1-7 in MIAA games) while UCM drops to 16-5 (8-3).

Out hitting UCM 16-14, UNK started its half of the ninth with a single and walk, prompting the Mules to bring in closer Andy Muehlberger, who began the day with a 1-0 record, three saves and a 1.69 ERA.

There wasn't going to be a fourth save as the senior right hander threw 13 balls among 16 pitches. By the time he left, the score was 10-9, the bases were full and there were no outs.

While junior right hander Charlie Skantze managed to get an infield popup, he plunked junior shortstop Scott Platt (Longmont, Colo.) to tie the game. That brought up UNK's best hitter in Schramm (Millard North).

The third Loper to reach a full count in the inning, Schramm (4 for 6, four RBI's) laced a sharp single to bring home pinch runner Calvin Rudolph (Millard South). Rudolph came in for hobbled pinch hitter Ricky Trammel (Kansas City, Mo.), who reached via an infield error.

UNK trailed 5-0 after the top of the first inning but the bullpen limited the Mules to two runs over the final five innings. The Lopers scored two in the first, fourth and sixth innings to hang around.

Jacob Richardson went 3 for 4 with three runs and a two-run homer in the fourth. Next, senior catcher Kirk McLeod (Detroit Lakes, Minn.) went 2 for 4 with a run and RBI and also threw out pinch runner Mason Janvrin trying to steal third in the top of the ninth.

The series finale will be Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

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