June 5, 2021

By Fred Liggett
FredL@lstribune.net

A winning tradition continues for the baseball program at the University of Central Missouri. Another chapter was added on Monday, May 31 when the Mules beat Southern Arkansas 12-5 to give the program its 19th Central Regional championship.

The 2021 Mules baseball team has accomplished many of their goals this season and a significant assist has come from five players who once played the game in Lee’s Summit. Taking up a spot on the Mules roster this year is four former LS West Titans and one former Lee’s Summit Tiger. Infielder Harrison Schnurbusch, first baseman Cole Taylor, third baseman Dusty Stroup and outfielder Carter Young are all former Titans. Right-handed pitcher Gabe Combs is the former Tiger.

All MIAA pick Cole Tayler says he and his former Titans teammates hear from LS West baseball coach Jay Meyer. Taylor says, “He texts us and wishes us luck.” On winning the regional title on the Mules home field in Warrensburg, Mo. Taylor said “feels really good,” adding “a great way to go out in last game at Crane Stadium.”

Taylor on having familiar faces play with him on the college level, “We have a nice brotherhood carry that into college, helps team building.” On the Mules success and sustaining it, “People before me set in stone and I’m trying to do the same thing.”

Up next for the Mules is the NCAA Division II College World Series to be played in Cary, North Carolina. The Mules learned on Monday night they will be the number one seed heading into the weeklong event. The Mules baseball team left Warrensburg on the night of Wednesday, Jun. 2 for North Carolina. Many Mules fans from central and western Missouri are expected to join them by the weekend when the games begin.

The Mules first game is against Northwest Nazerene on Saturday, Jun. 5 with first pitch at 5 p.m. central time. Win or lose the Mules will play again on Monday, Jun. 7. An opening round loss means a 1 p.m. game, an opening round win means a 5 p.m. game for the Mules. The double elimination tournament continues through June 12 before a national champion is declared.