For Immediate Release
Baseball -- March 19, 2012
Eureka Baseball Splits With RMU-Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Eureka College baseball team broke into the win column for the 2012 season on Monday night, racking up a season-high 10 runs in a 10-2 rout of USCAA Robert Morris-Springfield in the opener of the doubleheader at Chamberlain Park in Springfield, Ill. The host Eagles salvaged a split in the doubleheader with a 12-2 triumph in the nightcap.
Eureka got all the offense it would need in the top of the first inning of game one, pushing across three runs for an early 3-0 lead. A hit batsman, walk and single loaded the bases for sophomore second baseman Jordan Hodel (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.), who hit a bouncing ball in front of RMU starting pitcher Tyler Novy. Novy lunged to tag Eureka leadoff hitter Grant DeWitt (Mt. Sterling, Ill./Brown County H.S.) just in front of the plate, but DeWitt avoided the attempt and safely scored the first run of the game. Senior third baseman Mike Daxenbichler (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) followed with a two-run single through the hole on the right side for the 3-0 lead.
The hosts responded with single tallies in the first and second innings. RMU plated an unearned run in the first after the EC infield misplayed a potential double play with one out in the inning. Niko Boeker’s RBI single made it 3-2 one inning later
Novy kept the Red Devils off the board through the next four EC at-bats. The Eagles had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the bottom half of the fifth inning, loading the bases on a walk, misplayed sacrifice bunt and intentional walk in front of RMU catcher Corbin Govaia. Eureka senior starting pitcher Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.) ultimately worked out of the jam, punching out Govaia and inducing a 4-6-3 double play from Jason Del Toro to escape the inning with the 3-2 advantage in hand.
Eureka put the game out of reach with four runs in its next trip to the plate. Hodel started the frame with a leadoff single to left-center field. Four batters later, the bases were loaded for senior right fielder Eric Cuevas (Elk Grove Village, Ill./Roosevelt), who legged out a potential inning-ending double play for an RBI fielder’s choice that scored Hodel for a 4-2 cushion. DeWitt and junior first baseman Kevin Dooley (Normal, Ill./Normal Community H.S.) followed with run-scoring hits in the inning to give EC a 7-2 lead when the damage was done.
DeWitt’s two-run single highlighted a three-run seventh inning for the Red Devils for a 10-2 advantage. The lead was more than enough for sophomore hurler Bryan Meyer (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.), who tossed a perfect seventh inning in relief of McConkey to secure Eureka’s first win of the campaign.
McConkey gave the Red Devils an excellent start on the mound, allowing only one earned run on seven hits over 6.0 innings. He struck out two and fired 94 pitches. DeWitt drove in four in a 2-for-4 effort for the Red Devils out of the leadoff spot. Daxenbichler drilled a game-high three hits, as four different Red Devils had multi-hit performances.
Eureka struck first in the nightcap as well, claiming a 1-0 lead on Dooley’s sacrifice fly to score DeWitt in the top of the first inning. Cuevas’s RBI single in the top of the second inning gave EC its second lead of game two, 2-1.
RMU took the lead for good with a pair of tallies in the bottom of the second inning. Del Toro scored the winning run for a 3-2 cushion after a fielding error in the Eureka infield. The Red Devils made five errors in the nightcap, allowing the Eagles to pile up five unearned runs during the contest. RMU went on to score runs in each of its six at-bats during the game, including a four-run fourth inning to open up an 8-2 lead.
DeWitt and Daxenbichler each compiled two more hits in game two. The duo combined to go 9-for-15 for the doubleheader. Sophomore Kamaron Mason (Fisher, Ill./Fisher H.S.) came off the bench to drill his first double in an EC uniform in the seventh inning, while sophomore reliever Trevor Teal (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) didn’t allow an earned run 1.2 innings of work to close the game.
Eureka will open the home portion of its 2012 schedule on Wednesday, hosting Illinois College in a 3:30 p.m. non-conference contest at Henry Sand Field.
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