For Immediate Release
Baseball -- April 5, 2011
Greenville Takes SLIAC Doubleheader From Eureka
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College senior catcher Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) extended his career home run total to 19 with a pair of homers in the first game of Tuesday’s St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader versus Greenville, but the visiting Panthers came from behind for an 11-8 victory in the opener before coasting to a 16-3 win in the nightcap at Henry Sand Field.
Behind the bat of Hess and the pitching arm of freshman starter Bryan Meyer (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.), the Red Devils (4-15, 0-7 SLIAC) put together an early lead in game one. Hess accounted for all of Eureka’s offense in the first three innings, hitting a three-run home run in his first at-bat and following with a two-run bomb in the third inning for a 5-1 Eureka advantage. Senior first baseman Tim Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) and junior third baseman Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.) added run-scoring doubles in the fourth inning, stretching the hosts’ lead to 7-1.
Meyer had little problems navigating through the Greenville (4-14, 3-1 SLIAC) lineup through the first four innings, striking out seven Panthers and allowing only one run. However, the Panthers loaded the bases to start the fifth inning, and David Massengill’s triple cleared the bases and trimmed the visitors’ deficit to 7-4. Greenville eventually plated six runs in the inning on five hits and Justin Hubbard’s two-run double forced a 7-7 tie. McConkey, who relieved Meyer on the mound after the first five batters reached base, recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
Eureka regained an 8-7 lead in the sixth inning on Cashdollar’s RBI single before the Panthers rallied a second time. With the bases loaded after a single and a pair of walks, Alex Quirin unloaded the first pitch he saw over the center field wall for a grand slam and an 11-8 advantage. The homer was Greenville’s first of the season. The Red Devils were able to load the bases and bring the winning run to the plate in the bottom half of the inning, but Greenville reliever Scotty Voyles coaxed a game-ending 6-4-3 double play to get out of trouble and seal the victory.
Cashdollar was 3-for-3 in the opener with two RBI, while Hess was 2-for-3 with two homers and five runs driven in. Meyer received a no-decision after the strong start and McConkey took the loss to fall to 2-3 on the campaign. Quirin led the visitors with four RBI, but the grand slam was his only hit of the game.
In game two, Kenny Trager singled home the first run of the game before back-to-back Eureka fielding errors led to an additional two unearned runs later in the inning. Eureka junior Mike Daxenbichler (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) poked a two-run single down the right field line in the second inning to trim the Red Devils’ deficit to 3-2, but the Panthers answered with four runs in the third and another three runs in the fourth before eventually leading 10-3 after four innings.
Daxenbichler paced the Eureka offense in game two, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Hess added a run-scoring single in the fourth inning and finished the day 3-for-5 with six runs batted in. He now has 19 career home runs in 59 games. Greenville collected 15 hits for the game, including three each from Daniel Covert and Kyle Hobar.
Eureka will continue its busy week on Wednesday, hosting SLIAC rival Blackburn for a 9-inning game at 3 p.m to close the two squads’ 2011 season series. The Beavers swept a SLIAC doubleheader from the Red Devils in Carlinville on March 30.
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