MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa – The Eureka College baseball team played the final two games of a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division series with Iowa Wesleyan on Thursday, dropping both games of a doubleheader to the Tigers in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The Red Devils fell in game one, 11-7, and came up short in game two, 13-7.
The Tigers never trailed in the opener, scoring seven times in the first inning for a 7-0 lead. The Red Devils got on the board in the second inning thanks to a two-run single by freshman Trenton Hall (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.), part of a three-run inning. EC continued to chip away at the deficit over the next three innings, pulling within 8-6 when junior Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) pulled an RBI single through the left side of the infield in the top of the fourth inning.
IWU answered with a pair of runs in the fifth thanks to RBI hits by Jacob Leonard and Tanner Anderson.
Trailing 11-6 in the seventh, junior Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) doubled and later scored on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, three consecutive singles loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate, but Iowa Wesleyan starter Austin Christian induced a popout to escape the jam with the victory.
Eureka logged 13 hits in the game-one loss, including two apiece from Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.), Braxten Ary (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.), Hall and Kyle Finke (Argenta, Ill./Argenta Oreana H.S.). Hall finished the contest with two RBI.
In game two, the Tigers built another big lead early. IWU scored in each of the first five innings for an 11-0 advantage.
The Red Devils ultimately punched back in a big way with a six-run sixth inning. EC collected four hits in the frame, including run-scoring hits from Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.), Ary and Max Marcoux (Jennings County, Ind./Jennings County H.S.). IWU also committed three errors and issued two walks during the rally. With the bases loaded and only one out, the hosts squirmed out of danger thanks to a strikeout and a force out at second base.
After the big rally in the sixth, the Red Devils were limited to just two hits over the final three innings.
Vogel and Ary combined for four of EC's six hits in game two. Ary and Smith had two RBI apiece.
Eureka is scheduled to play its final home game of 2017 on Thursday, May 4 in a 1 p.m. SLIAC doubleheader against MacMurray.