PITTSBURG, Kan. – With Griffon Baseball's season on the brink, Casey Danley destroyed a two-out, three-run home run to extend Missouri Western's season by at least a day. Danley's bomb in the ninth inning gave Missouri Western a 4-2 win over Emporia State in an elimination game of the MIAA Championships.
Danley's game-winning blast was set up by a one-out pinch-hit single by Jordan Jackson and a single by Will Jibas. After Conrad McMahon struck out, Danley pushed an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall, into the wind and onto the softball field beyond left at Al Ortalani Field. Anthony Castaneda retired the Hornets in order in the bottom of the ninth on nine pitches to earn his first save of the season and receive some vindication after suffering his first loss in over a month the previous day.
Missouri Western took a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth on a Dusty Stroup sac-fly. The Griffons had been held hitless until Danley singled through the left side in the sixth. Emporia State took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth on a two-RBI single by Tanner Arst, a lead that held until the bottom of the ninth.
Jacob Purl matched Emporia State starter Jake Barton's pace, allowing just one hit through 5 1/3, but Purl walked five to allow both Hornet runs. Jacob Miller came in in the sixth and allowed just one hit through 2 1/3 with three strikeouts and three walks. Kellan Richards (2-3) got the win throwing just one pitch that wasn't put in play. Richards entered with two on and two out in the eighth. Emporia State stole third to put runners at the corners and attempting a double steal, Paul Claassen was thrown out at the plate from Richards to Jibas.
The Griffons advanced in the MIAA's postseason tournament to face the loser of Friday night's Central Missouri vs Pittsburg State game. MWSU's next game was scheduled for 4 p.m. on Saturday.