The fourth seeded Central Missouri Mules got a solid performance from junior starting pitcher Mark Carey to grab a 7-4 opening round win in the NCAA Central Regional against the third seeded Wayne State College (Neb.) on Thursday in Emporia, Kan.
The Mules (42-15) fell behind 1-0 in the second inning but scored four in the top of the next frame, thanks to a three-run moon-shot to left by senior third baseman Iain Dykins. Later, they would tack on three in the top of the eighth to take a commanding 7-2 lead off WSC starter Nick Schumacher. It was the most runs he had given up all season as he came in with a 13-1 record and a sparkling 1.82 ERA.
The Wildcats (40-12) tried to make a game of it in the bottom of the eighth by scoring a couple runs on an RBI single with two outs. The Mules brought in closer Chris Matlock though, and got out of the jam on the next batter. He would strike out two in the ninth and retire three of the four batters to earn his 10th save of the season.
In the Mules third inning, senior shortstop Brian McBryde became just the 12th player in NCAA Division II history to record 300 career hits with an RBI single to right center. He would also score in the inning on the homer by Dykins. McBryde stole two bases in the game and walked to score another run in the eighth frame.
Senior second baseman Chris Brown had a big two RBI single up the middle with the bases loaded in that eighth inning before classmate Luis Perez drove in another in the next at-bat. The Mules took advantage of five walks by Schumacher while the UCM pitching staff gave away no bases-on-balls in the game.
Carey, who was named the Central Region Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday, moved his overall record to 10-1.