Lions set for first-ever baseball game in January | Local Sports

It’s a history-making game today when Missouri Southern plays Northwestern Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. in the Edmond First Pitch Classic, hosted by Central Oklahoma.

It’s the first time the Lions have played a baseball game in January.

Before today, the Lions’ earliest baseball season opener came twice on Feb. 2 — against Southwestern Oklahoma State last year in Edmond and at Oklahoma State in 1997.

“We played on this weekend last year, but it was February,” Lions coach Bryce Darnell said. “It depends on when the calendar falls when Division II starts.”

Expectations run high for the Lions as they return nine position players and seven pitchers from last year’s team that finished 35-21 overall and 23-10 in the MIAA, one game behind league champion Central Missouri. The Lions made it to the final day of the postseason tournament but lost 5-4 to Central Missouri, and they lost to the Mules and St. Cloud State in the regional tournament at Warrensburg.

“We have high hopes,” Darnell said. “We have some guys back who had big years for us, but it’s always hard to duplicate…

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