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Loper baseball tees off on Emporia State

Mitchell Robinson for the UNK Lopers in a game with Missouri Western, April 21, 2017, at Kearney's Memorial Field (NTV News)

Junior Alex Achtermann had another big day at the plate, senior Mitchell Robinson tossed a complete game eight-hitter and Nebraska-Kearney turned two inning-ending double plays to beat Emporia State, 11-3, Monday in Kansas.

With today's win the Lopers (19-15, 12-8) take the series from the Hornets (19-15, 10-11). Due to weather, the three-game set was pushed back a full day. UNK is now in sole possession of fifth place in the MIAA.

After hitting for the cycle on Sunday, Achtermann went 3 for 5 today with three runs scored. He's now batting a team-best .411 on the season and has reached base safely in 25 straight games. In this series, the pitcher and position player went 10 for 14 (.714) with seven runs and five RBI's.

UNK battered Emporia pitching all weekend to the tune of 46 hits (13 doubles and seven home runs) and a .348 average. Today, the Lopers four through eight hitters each had a multi-hit and multi-RBI effort.

The Lopers struck for three in the top of the first as sophomore first baseman Ty Roseberry (1 for 4, two runs) hit a two-run homer and senior second baseman Scott Platt (3 for 5, two runs & two RBI's) followed with a solo shot to left. Platt also homered on Sunday, the second time this year he's hit dingers in back-to-back games.

While the Hornets countered with a run in the bottom of the first, UNK tallied four more in the third. The big blow was a two-out, two-run double to right center off the bat of redshirt freshman designated hitter Josh Robinson (2 for 5, one run & three RBI's). His brother then coaxed ESU to hit into a 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the inning to get out of a bases loaded jam. The Hornets later hit into another 6-4-3 DP to end the sixth.

Making his 47th start and tallying his ninth career complete game, Robinson (4-3) tossed 131 pitches today. He struck out seven, walked three and forced ESU to ground out 12 times. Fittingly, a strikeout looking ended the game and series. Robinson will tie Jared Loschen's school-record of 48 starts this weekend vs. Washburn. The right hander also ranks in the UNK all-time top 10 in innings pitched (2nd/271.3) and strikeouts (10th/166).

Finally, left center fielder Brandon Hernandez went 0 for 6, ending his games reaching base safely at 30 straight games, tying the longest such streak since 2014; in 2015 Connor Messinger also reached safely in 30 straight.

UNK hosts the Fort Hays State Tigers (13-22, 5-16) this Wednesday at Memorial Field to begin a six-game home stand. First pitch will be at 3 p.m.

Courtesy UNK Sports Information

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