For Immediate Release
Baseball -- March 28, 2012
Baseball Splits With MacMurray For First SLIAC Win
EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College baseball team used a five-run fifth inning to come from behind and earn an 8-4 win in game two of a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader against MacMurray, Wednesday afternoon at Henry Sand Field. The decision marked Eureka’s first league win of the season. The Highlanders limited the Red Devils to five hits in game one to secure a 3-1 victory and the doubleheader split.
Eureka (3-11, 1-4 SLIAC) went ahead 1-0 in game two thanks to an RBI double from sophomore shortstop Grant DeWitt (Mt. Sterling, Ill./Brown County H.S.) in the first inning. The lead would be short-lived as the visitors bounced back with two runs in the second inning on a two-run single from right fielder Derek Crouch for a 2-1 lead. The Highlanders made it 3-1 on Caleb Bell’s RBI single in the third and 4-1 after Aaron Krummich smashed an RBI double in the fifth.
Facing the 4-1 deficit, the Red Devils came to life in the fifth inning to regain the lead. Senior center fielder Michael Hammerstrand (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) started the rally with a double down the left field line and eventually scored on an RBI single from junior left fielder Eric Lopez (Lake Villa, Ill./Lakes H.S./Lake County) to trail 4-2. DeWitt tacked on a run-scoring hit before senior designated hitter Mitch Johnson (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest H.S./Greensboro) tied the contest at 4-4 with an RBI groundout. Junior catcher Josh Hofer (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) gave EC the lead for good in the next at-bat with a two-run single to left for the 6-4 cushion.
Sacrifice flies from senior first baseman Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.) in the seventh and Lopez in the eighth provided more insurance for the Red Devils. DeWitt, who entered the doubleheader with a team-best batting average of .364, led the offensive charge in the EC victory with a 3-for-5 showing and two runs batted in. Lopez and Hofer each compiled two hits. Sophomore pitcher Nate Louis (Putnam, Ill./Henry-Senachwine H.S.) tossed 1.1 innings of relief to earn the victory. Sophomore reliever Bryan Meyer (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.) turned in the best outing of his young collegiate career, striking out eight over 4.0 hitless innings to earn the save.
The MacMurray (8-6, 2-3 SLIAC) pitching trio of Anthony Wileford, A.J. Hutchins and Dalton Zimmerman combined to keep the Red Devils off stride in a 3-1 MC win in game one. The Highlanders got the first run of the game when Kyle Marshall scored during a double-play ground ball in the Eureka infield for a 1-0 advantage. MC made it 3-0 in the fifth when Jared Dooley scored on a wild pitch and Marshall drove in a run on an RBI groundout.
Eureka got its only run of the opener in the sixth when Johnson scored on an RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of senior third baseman Eric Cuevas (Chicago Heights, Ill./Curie H.S./Roosevelt). The Red Devils brought the winning run to the plate in the seventh, but Zimmerman danced out of the jam to earn the save after 1.1 innings of work.
Five different players collected singles for the Red Devils in the loss. Eureka stranded 12 baserunners overall and was unable to take advantage of three MacMurray errors. McConkey took the loss despite allowing only three earned runs over 7.0 innings.
The Red Devils will hit the road and continue SLIAC play this weekend with a three-game series starting Saturday at Westmisnter in Fulton, Mo. The two squads will play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. and a single contest Sunday at noon.
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