For Immediate Release
Baseball -- March 27, 2011
Robert Morris Rallies to Sweep Red Devils
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Eureka College senior second baseman Aaron Tolson (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S.) went 3-for-7 with a double and three RBI over the course of Sunday’s non-conference doubleheader at Robert Morris-Springfield, but Eureka had its four-game road win streak snapped with a pair of losses to the Eagles at Chamberlain Park in Springfield, Ill. Robert Morris held off a late Eureka rally to win game one, 7-6, before coming from behind for a walk-off 6-5 triumph in the nightcap.
In the opener, Eureka struck first with a three-run third inning. Junior outfielder Pierce Furrow (El Paso, Ill./El Paso-Gridley H.S.) started the frame with a single to center field. Two batters later, Tolson smacked a single to left that was misplayed by RMU’s Chris Sekardi, plating two runs and allowing Tolson to move all the way to third base on the play. Senior first baseman Tim Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) singled home Tolson in the next at-bat for a 3-0 lead.
The hosts roared back in the fourth inning, scoring six times against Eureka starting pitcher Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.). The first four batters of the inning each recorded first-pitch base hits to create momentum for the inning. A Eureka fielding error later in the frame extending the inning, as the the final three runs of the inning were unearned. The Eagles made it 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning on Jonathan Laygo’s sacrifice fly.
The Red Devils got a run back on an RBI groundout by freshman shortstop Grant DeWitt (Mt. Sterling, Ill./Brown County H.S.) in the sixth before rallying one final time in the seventh. The first two batters of the inning reached base before McConkey yanked an RBI single down the left field line to cut the deficit to 7-5. Freshman outfielder Mitch Johnson (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest H.S.) added a sacrifice fly to make it 7-6, but a deep lineout in the right-center field gap ended the game two batters later with the tying run stranded at second base.
Cashdollar led the offense in the opener with a 2-for-4 showing with an RBI. Senior catcher Alex Hess (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) was hit by a pitch three times and walked once, reaching base four times without putting the ball in play. DeWitt threw a scoreless inning of relief.
Robert Morris took advantage of some shaky Eureka defense in the nightcap, plating four unearned runs in the first three innings against Eureka freshman starter Bryan Meyer (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.). After Tolson, McConkey and junior Mike Daxenbichler (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) drove in runs to give the Red Devils a 3-2 lead, three consecutive Eagles reached base thanks to a Eureka error to start the bottom of the third inning. RMU took advantage of the miscues and led 4-3 at the end of the inning.
Eureka finally tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning when Tolson yanked an RBI double down the left field line, scoring Johnson. One inning later, the Red Devils took their first lead since the third inning when an single from Jordan Hodel (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) coupled with a throwing error by RMU shortstop Garrett Moyer allowed Daxenbichler to score from second for a 5-4 advantage.
The Eagles answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to rally for the doubleheader sweep and extend their win streak to nine games. A lead-off walk followed by back-to-back singles loaded the bases for Tyler Novy, who ripped a two-run single through the left side of the infield for the walk-off victory.
Eureka committed a season-high five errors in game two, as only two of the Eagles’ six runs were earned. Tolson and McConkey had two hits apiece to lead the Red Devils, who dropped to 4-7 on the season.
Eureka will open the 24-game St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule this Wednesday with a 1:30 p.m. doubleheader at Blackburn in Carlinville, Ill. The Red Devils swept the three-game SLIAC series from the Beavers in 2010, including a 10-5 triumph in Carlinville on May 5, 2010. Blackburn owns a 6-5 advantage in the all-time SLIAC series with Eureka dating back to 2007.
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