MacMurray Tops Red Devils on Senior Day

MacMurray Tops Red Devils on Senior Day

EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College senior right-hander Peter Litwiller (East Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S.) threw a complete game Wednesday in his final home appearance, but MacMurray won both games of a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader to spoil the Red Devils' Senior Day at Henry Sand Field. The Highlanders came from behind to win game one, 3-2, and held off a late EC rally to win game two, 4-1.

The Red Devils broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning of game one. Junior outfielder Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) singled to begin the inning and later scored from second on an infield single from freshman Braxten Ary (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.) for a 1-0 lead.

MC answered with a pair of runs on just one hit in the fifth. Brett Mammenga's double down the left field line plated Nick Balkenbusch, who was hit by a pitch earlier in the frame. Alec Quandt tacked on a sacrifice fly one batter later the and Highlanders' lead was 2-1.

Balkenbusch added an RBI single in the sixth for a 3-1 MC lead, but the hosts got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Vogel started the rally with a leadoff single and ultimately scored when sophomore Thomas Harrison (Bushnell, Ill./Bushnell-Prairie City H.S.) singled to left field for a 3-2 deficit.

A two-out walk put the tying run on base for EC in the seventh, but MacMurray reliever Tyler Brown picked up his eighth save of the season with a groundout for MC's 3-2 win.

Vogel had three of the Red Devils' eight hits. Junior shortstop Ethan Gates (Batavia, Ill./Batavia H.S./Waubonsee) added two hits.

Litwiller threw all 7.0 innings, limiting the Highlanders to three runs on six hits. It was his first outing of at least 7.0 innings since facing Webster on April 26, 2014.

In the second game, MacMurray scored once in the first when Mammenga singled, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

The Highlanders' lead remained 1-0 all the way into the eighth inning. MC delivered three insurance runs in the frame, highlighted by Balkenbusch's two-run double. 

Down 4-0 in the ninth, EC loaded the bases thanks to singles from Vogel, Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) and pinch hitter Jake Schnulle (Woodstock, Ill./Woodstock North H.S./Cardinal Stritch). The Red Devils got on board when a single from freshman Trenton Hall (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) plated Vogel for a 4-1 deficit, but Brown induced a fielder's choice to end the game with his second save of the afternoon.

Eureka had seven hits in game two, all singles. Smith finished 2-for-3.

Junior left-hander Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) was dominant on the mound for EC, limiting MacMurray to one run on three hits over 8.0 innings. He struck out four.

The Red Devils will close the 2017 season with a three-game SLIAC West Division series at Westminster this weekend. Eureka and WC are scheduled to play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. in Fulton, followed by a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.