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Second-seeded Missouri Southern baseball ready to host Central Region play

The Missouri Southern baseball team is back in a familiar setting—the NCAA Division II Central Region Tournament.

In fact, for the second straight season, MSSU is the second seed and will be hosting the opening round.

Missouri Southern is coming off a come-from-behind 18-16 barn-burner win against Central Missouri in the MIAA Tournament Championship game. That win helped solidify the second seed in the region tournament.

“It’s just a credit to our guys for sticking with it,” MSSU manager Bryce Darnell said to NewsTalk KZRG about the Lions’ win over the Mules. “We kind of knew it had a chance to be a long day whether it was one or two games. Our guys were up to the task.”  

The Lions open the Central Region Tournament against seventh-seeded Harding at 5 p.m. on Thursday at Warren Turner Field following the completion of third-seeded Arkansas Tech and sixth-seeded Arkansas-Monticello scheduled for 1 p.m.

“I think it helps us a lot,” Darnell said about hosting the opening round. “It’s an honor to host. There’s only 16 teams in the country hosting games this time of year. It’s wonderful to be at home and play in front of our home crowd. We are looking forward to Thursday.”

MSSU enters the regional tournament with a 42-13 record and are 12-2 in its last 14 games. Ask any coach and they will tell you they want their team to be playing their best come postseason time. One thing is certain, the Lions have found their groove heading into their matchup with the Bison.

“The last three weeks or so, I feel like we’re gaining some steam and our guys are playing pretty well,” Darnell said. “So, hopefully that continues.”

The losers of the first two games play at 1 p.m. on Friday, while the winners play at 5 p.m. in Game 4.

Game 5 is at 1 on Saturday, with Game 6 at 5. If necessary, Game 7 is scheduled for noon on Sunday at Warren Turner Field.

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