TOPEKA, KS. – A gritty starting pitching performance from freshman right-hander Justin Lottman (FR/Lincoln, Neb.) helped send Morningside College home with a sunny disposition Saturday, February 27.
The Lincoln, Neb., native was wobbled early in the lid-lifter of a doubleheader against Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Kansas Wesleyan University. The Coyotes struck him for three runs in the first inning due to three hits which included a three-run homer. However, from that point, Lottman surrendered just three hits and struck out four batters over the final four innings of his appearance.
While his first-year hurler kept the hosts at bay, head coach Adam Boeve‘s offense sprang into action. Junior catcher Braden Smutz (JR/Lake Stevens, Wash.) (Lake Stevens, Wash.) singled in a run in the third, trimming the deficit to 3-2, and freshman outfielder Hunter Hope (FR/Sioux City, Iowa) (Sioux City, Iowa) blasted a two-run big fly in the fourth to give the Mustangs a 4-3 edge. Lottman and bullpen specialist Jordan Kyle (JR/Lake Park, Iowa) shut down KWU from that point to hand Morningside its fourth win of the season.
It was nearly the beginning of a sweep for the visitors. A two-run single off the bat of senior infielder Jordan Pierce (SR/Carlisle, Iowa) (Carlisle, Iowa) in the fifth brought the visitors back from a second 3-1 deficit of the afternoon. KWU responded with a solo home run in their half of the fifth and kept the potential tying run in scoring position in the sixth to hang on for a 4-3 triumph of its own.
Morningside (4-9) collides with Columbia College and Baker University in five games over four days March 6-9.