For Immediate Release
Baseball -- April 10, 2011
Red Devils End Skid, Split Doubleheader With Fontbonne
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College senior second baseman Aaron Tolson (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S.) hit his second career home run and junior third baseman Mike Daxenbichler (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) drove home the winning run, helping the Red Devils snap a 12-game losing streak and earn a 5-4 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Fontbonne in the opener of Sunday’s doubleheader at Henry Sand Field. The Griffins recovered for a 14-4 victory in game two to win two out of three contests in the weekend series.
After Fontbonne (8-15, 4-5 SLIAC) opened the scoring with an unearned run for the second consecutive day, the Red Devils (5-19, 1-10 SLIAC) forced a 1-1 tie in the bottom half of the first inning when Tolson pulled a 1-2 pitch from Fontbonne starter David Willey over the left field fence. Fontbonne regained the lead in the top of the second on Matt Suda’s RBI single, but Eureka answered again in the bottom of the inning when senior first baseman Tim Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) drew a bases-loaded walk for a 2-2 tie.
Suda’s two-run double in the fourth inning pushed the visitors back in front, 4-2, before Eureka slowly closed the gap. The Red Devils were poised to tie the game in the fifth inning on Daxenbichler’s bases-loaded single to center, but freshman shortstop Grant DeWitt (Mt. Sterling, Ill./Brown County H.S.) was tagged out trying to advance from first to third base moments before junior center fielder Pierce Furrow (El Paso, Ill./El Paso-Gridley H.S.) could score from second as the tying run, allowing Fontbonne to cling to a 4-3 advantage.
Eureka eventually forced the 4-4 tie in the sixth thanks to some defensive woes from the Griffins. With one out in the inning and pinch runner Mitch Johnson (Southern Pines, N.C./Pinecrest H.S.) at second base, Suda misplayed a line drive off the bat of Cashdollar in center field, allowing Johnson to score and Cashdollar to move to second base on the error. Two batters later, Fontbonne reliever Austin Onstott slipped out of the jam with the tie intact thanks to an inning-ending double play.
After Eureka junior starting pitcher Blake McConkey (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.) sat the Griffins down in order in the top of the seventh, the Red Devils wasted little time pushing the winning run across. Eureka quickly put runners at second and third after a leadoff single from Furrow and a misplayed sacrifice bunt from DeWitt. The Griffins intentionally walked pinch hitter Jordan Hodel (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) to load the bases for Daxenbichler, who slapped a single through the hole on the right side to score Furrow for the come-from-behind win.
McConkey earned the complete-game victory for the Red Devils to improve to 3-3 on the season. He allowed three earned runs on six hits over 7.0 innings and threw 106 pitches. Freshman right fielder Nate Louis (Putnam, Ill./Henry-Senachwine) collected a game-high three hits, his second career multi-hit game. The victory marked Eureka’s first walk-off victory since one year ago to the day, a 2-1 triumph over Principia on April 20, 2010.
The Griffins scored five times in the first inning of the nightcap to coast to a 14-4 win. After the Fontbonne lead swelled to 8-0, Tolson doubled to score Daxenbichler in the fifth and Johnson added an RBI single in the sixth to cut the Eureka deficit to 8-2, but Fontonne’s Josh Taylor ripped a one-out grand slam to left field to highlight a six-run seventh inning for the visitors. Cashdollar lifted his fourth career home run over the right field fence in Eureka’s final at-bat, but Fontbonne reliever Jacob Becker allowed no further damage to help the Griffins lock down a 14-4 victory and clinch the series win, 2-1.
Daxenbichler and Cashdollar each had two hits in the nightcap to lead the Red Devils. Preston Bradley collected a game-high three hits for the visitors, including a solo home run to lead off the third inning. Fontbonne starter Andrew Schlereth went 6.0 innings to earn the win, giving up two runs on six hits.
Eureka will hit the road for its next five games, starting with a 2 p.m. doubleheader at MacMurray this Wednesday in Jacksonville, Ill.
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