The Northeastern State baseball team lost 7-5 to Northwest Missouri State on Opening Day of the 2013 campaign Saturday afternoon at Rousey Field.
NSU (0-1, 0-1 MIAA) competed in its first contest as members of the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, and the Bearcats (1-3, 1-0 MIAA) earned their first win of the early season.
The RiverHawks outhit NWMSU 10-7, but NSU issued five free passes to just one from the Bearcats.
Senior shortstop Kegan Knight and sophomore first baseman Preston Cash led NSU with three hits each. Knight blasted a solo home run in the third inning and Cash scored twice.
Seven different Bearcats registered hits. Charlie Krueger used one swing to record three RBI and Ryan Abernathy scored three times.
Northeastern State was able to record two outs to start the game, but an RBI single from J.J. Baccari and Krueger's three-run blast quickly made the score 4-0 before the RiverHawks had a chance to respond.
Junior right fielder Cody Robinson drove home Cash in the second and Knight homered in the third to cut the deficit in half. The Bearcats added an insurance run in the fourth, and then neither team scored over the course of the next four innings.
NSU had trouble getting out of the ninth, as the home side allowed NWMSU to score twice on a two-RBI single from Eric Swain.
The RiverHawks were able to manufacture three runs in the final frame as NWMSU's Blane Reutter struggled to finish off the complete game, but the visitors would hold on for the two-run win.
Reutter (1-1) scattered 10 hits and allowed the five runs in the winning effort. He struck out five and walked just one, going the distance for the visitors.
Hayden Walch (0-1) lasted 4.0 innings on the mound for NSU. He allowed five runs on six hits, walking two and striking out one. Senior Brandon Compton threw 3.2 innings of solid relief work, as he only allowed one base runner (via walk), while also posting a strike out.
Junior Greg Diaville and sophomores Seth Hudson, Brooks Deatherage and T.J. Foster also saw time on the mound, combining to throw the final 1.1 innings.