For Immediate Release
Baseball -- April 30, 2011
Baseball Gets Saturday Split WIth Westminster
EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College baseball team clubbed three home runs and freshman pitcher Nate Louis (Putnam, Ill./ Henry-Senachwine) came on in relief to earn his first career victory, lifting the Red Devils to a 9-6 victory over Westminster in the opener of Saturday’s St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Henry Sand Field. The Blue Jays got the doubleheader split with a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
Westminster took an early 1-0 lead in game one on Andrew Jett’s run-scoring single, but Eureka wasted little time firing back for a lead in the first inning. Two of the first three Red Devils reached base before senior catcher Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) lifted his seventh home run of the season for a 3-1 advantage. After Westminster starter Brandon Zucker walked three of the next four batters, junior Mitch Johnson (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest H.S.) pushed the lead to 7-1 with a grand slam, his first collegiate home run.
The Blue Jays bounced back with four runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run home run from Jett to cut the deficit to 7-5. The Red Devils answered with a solo home run from junior third baseman Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.) to lead off the bottom half of the inning, and the Eureka lead wouldn’t dip below three runs again.
Louis entered the game in relief of starter Kyle Kieswetter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) with one out in the fourth inning and allowed only one hit and one earned run over 3.2 innings to earn his first career victory. Hess paced the Eureka offense with a pair of hits and joined Johnson with a game-high four RBI.
In game two, Jett hit his second homer of the day in the top of the first inning to give the visitors an early 2-0 advantage. The lead swelled to 3-0 before Eureka junior Michael Hammerstrand (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) got the Red Devils into the run column with a sacrifice fly to score Johnson, but it proved to be all of Eureka’s offense for the game.
Westminster added to the lead when Ben Schwarz scored on a passed ball in the fourth inning and Nick Hoag made it 5-1 in the seventh inning with his RBI double. The Red Devils were unable to score in their final four at-bats, and the Blue Jays salvaged the doubleheader split behind a complete-game outing from starting pitcher Jon Simpher.
Eureka senior Tim Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) turned in the only multi-hit game for the Red Devils, going 2-for-3. Hoag and Jett had two hits apiece for Westminster.
The Red Devils will go for the series win on Sunday, hosting the Blue Jays in a 9-inning game at noon at Henry Sand Field. Eureka will host its annual Senior Day, honoring Cashdollar, Hess and Aaron Tolson (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S.) in a ceremony prior to first pitch.
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