EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College junior first baseman Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) smashed two home runs Friday and junior left-hander Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) pitched 6.0 strong innings to earn his first EC victory, lifting the Red Devils to an 8-7 win over Blackburn in the second game of Friday's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Henry Sand Field. The Beavers won game one, 7-0.
Blackburn snagged a 2-0 early in game two, but the Red Devils tied the game in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly from sophomore catcher Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and a wild pitch that scored Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley).
Eureka took the lead for good in the second inning when freshman left fielder Trenton Hall (Sidell, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) hit his first collegiate home run, a solo shot to left field for a 3-2 cushion. The lead swelled one inning later when Vogel smashed a three-run bomb to deep center field. When the dust settled, the EC lead was 7-2.
The Beavers clawed back into the game on Blayten Magana's three-run home run in the seventh, slashing the deficit to 7-5. The Red Devils got one of the tallies back in the eighth when Vogel smashed another home run to center field for an 8-5 cushion.
Trailing 8-5 in the ninth, BC scored twice on R.J. Rios's two-run single and put the tying run on third base, but a Brady Wilkinson flyout ended the threat and gave the Red Devils their first league victory of the campaign.
Vogel went 4-for-5 with four RBI. Five other starters had at least one hit for the Red Devils, who snapped a four-game skid in the all-time series with Blackburn.
Taylor earned his first victory in a Eureka uniform, yielding two earned runs on 6.0 innings. He struck out three. Freshman right-hander Brady Sevier (Pekin, Ill./Pekin H.S.) collected his first collegiate save, working around a pair of unearned runs in the ninth.
In the opener, BC starter Jonathan Stepp didn't allow a hit over 7.0 innings to drive the Beavers' 7-0 win. The Beavers scored twice in the first inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Magana and Tyler Durand and would ultimately plate runs in four of the first five innings.
Saturday's SLIAC doubleheader versus Principia has been postponed. The Red Devils will try to return to action Sunday at Division I Bradley at 1 p.m. in Peoria, Ill.