EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College junior second baseman Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) had two hits in game one and freshman right-hander Braden Mann (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) fired a quality start in game two, but Principia claimed 8-1 victories in both contests of Friday's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Henry Sand Field.
The Panthers scored four times in the first inning of the opener and never looked back. PC led 3-0 before making an out thanks to Connor Coyne's three-run home run in the top half of the frame. Jake Kearney added an RBI single before the dust settled for a 4-0 lead.
Principia's lead swelled to 6-0 before Eureka got on the board in the third inning thanks to a sacrifice fly from freshman Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.).
In all, the Red Devils were limited to three hits in game one by PC starter Hunter Mehring. Smith had two singles and Carter finished 1-for-2.
In game two, Eureka led 1-0 in the first inning when Carter singled and later scored on a groundout from junior third baseman Kyle Maki (Virginia, Minn./Virginia H.S./Mesabi Range).
Mann kept the visitors off the board until the sixth. Mehring led off the inning with a triple and tied the game at 1-1 one batter later when the EC infield misplayed Sean Hannan's ground ball. The Panthers moved in front for good in the seventh inning when Parker Davidson singled, stole second and scored on Ed Bargmann's RBI single to center field. Mehring added a two-run double into the gap later in the frame and the PC lead was 4-1.
Facing the deficit, the final nine Red Devils were retired in order. PC added four runs of insurance in the ninth, highlighted by Hannan's two-run single.
Carter added two more hits in the second game, including a double. Freshman center fielder Braxten Ary (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.) also doubled in the game-two loss.
Mann threw 100 pitches, allowing two earned runs on five hits over 6.0 innings. He struck out three.
The Red Devils will have less than 24 hours to prepare for Saturday's league contests against Spalding. The Golden Eagles will visit Henry Sand Field for a 1 p.m. SLIAC doubleheader.