Miller, Taylor Lift Red Devils to SLIAC Split at Westminster

Miller, Taylor Lift Red Devils to SLIAC Split at Westminster

FULTON, Mo. – Eureka College junior outfielder Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) hit a go-ahead grand slam in the fifth inning and sophomore right-hander Jake Miller (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) earned his second career nine-inning, complete-game victory, sending the Red Devils to a 6-4 victory in the nightcap of a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division doubleheader against Westminster, Saturday afternoon in Fulton, Mo. The Blue Jays won the opener, 10-2.

Saturday's game-two victory marked the first collegiate win for interim head coach Michael Hammerstrand.

Trailing 3-0 in the fifth, Eureka got on the board when junior third baseman Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) hit a bases-loaded single to score junior shortstop Ethan Gates (Batavia, Ill./Batavia H.S./Waubonsee) for a 3-1 deficit. Taylor followed with his first home run in an EC uniform, drilling a grand slam to push EC to a 5-3 advantage. All of the damage in the inning came with two outs after a fly out and a strikeout started the frame.

The Red Devils added insurance in the sixth on an RBI double from sophomore catcher Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) that stretched the visitors' lead to 6-3.

Westminster brought the tying run to the plate with nobody out in the eighth, but Miller limited the damage to a sacrifice fly, an infield pop out and a groundout with the 6-4 lead intact. Miller sat down the Blue Jays in order in the ninth to secure his third career win on the hill.

Miller went the distance in game two, scattering 10 hits and four earned runs over the full 9.0 innings. He threw 123 pitches, 78 for strikes, and struck out four.

Eureka had 10 hits in game two, including two apiece by Mullin, junior first baseman Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.), Smith and freshman outfielder Braxten Ary (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.).

Eureka briefly led in game one. The Red Devils forced a 1-1 tie in the second inning on Ary's sacrifice fly and later moved in front 2-1 when Mullin singled to score freshman Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.) in the third inning.

WC regained a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the inning on Will Stoneci's home run. The hosts put the contest out of reach with a seven-run fifth inning that saw WC send 10 batters to the plate and collect six hits. A.C. Long's three-run home run was the big blow of the inning.

The Red Devils were limited to five hits in the opener, all singles.

Eureka will play its final game of the 2017 season Sunday in the rubber match of the three-game series with the Blue Jays. First pitch in Fulton is scheduled for 1 p.m.