EMPORIA, Kan. Patrick Rients belted a walk-off solo home run in the ninth inning to lift Southwest Minnesota State to a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over No. 17 Missouri Western on Saturday night.
The victory was the Mustangs' first over a nationally ranked team since earning a victory over No. 7 St. Cloud State on April 3, 2012.
Southwest trailed 6-1 after four innings versus Missouri Western (1-2), but rallied back with several timely hits and solid pitching.
The Mustangs chipped into the lead in the fifth as Ben Korger led off the inning with a triple and later scored on a run-scoring single by Haas to make the score 6-2.
Jordon Kontz followed with a single to put runners on first and second before Jon Ellis smacked an RBI single to score Haas. Austin Stubbs then came through with a clutch two-out single to score Ellis and make the score 6-4.
The Mustangs tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out rally. Haas drilled a triple to score Korger and moments later scored on a single by Kontz.
The game remained tied until two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Rients drilled a 2-2 pitch over the fence.
It was SMSU's first walk-off home run win since Andrew Kinney beat Winona State on April 21, 2010.
Steven Wehr started on the mound for SMSU and pitched six strong innings, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits with two walks, two hit batters and two strikeouts. Brendan Alfson (1-0) tossed three shutout innings to earn the victory, allowing one hit and two walks.
Haas finished the game 2 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs score, while Ellis finished 3 for 4. Kontz, Schnaible and Korger all finished two hits as the Mustangs finished the game with 14 hits.
Southwest Minnesota State opened its season earlier in the day suffering an 11-7 loss to Emporia State in the season opener for both teams.
The Hornets jumped out to an early 7-1 lead before the Mustangs rallied to score five runs in the top of the fifth.
Ellis drove in the first run of the fifth inning with a single, before Rients belted a two-run homer to make the score 7-4. Jarred Carlson and Jason Minnet followed with back-to-back doubles before Korger trimmed the deficit to 7-6 on an RBI single.
After the Hornets added a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth, Ryan Engles answered with a solo homer in the top of sixth to make the score 9-7.
Emporia State continued its strong offensive game pushing across single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to build a four-run advantage and go on and earn the victory.
SMSU starter Mitch Wurm (0-1) suffered the loss tossing 4 2/3 innings in his first start in a Mustang uniform. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 14 hits with four strikeouts.
The Mustangs had 13 hits in the game. Korger led the way with three hits, while Engels and Kontz each had two of their own.