EUREKA, Ill. -- Back-to-back home runs in the top of fifth inning broke a scoreless tie and eventually proved to be the difference in NAIA Viterbo's 4-2 non-conference win over the Eureka College baseball team, Friday afternoon at Henry Sand Field.
The loss dropped the Red Devils to 2-2-1 through their first five games and ended a brief three-game unbeaten streak.
Sean Green (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S./Robert Morris-Peoria) and Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) recorded two hits apiece. All six of the Red Devils' hits Friday were singles. Mullin and Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.) collected RBI. Gregory Cluskey (East Peoria, Ill./Metamora H.S.) threw 5.0 innings in his first collegiate start and Kyle Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) tossed 2.0 scoreless innings in relief.
Carter's RBI single to score Green in the bottom of the first inning pushed Eureka in front, 1-0. The V-Hawks leveled the score at 1-1 two innings later when Evan Wick doubled to left field to begin the frame and scored one batter later when Eureka misplayed a sacrifice bunt attempt from Noah Bouley.
The score remained tied until Bouley's two-run home run to left field pushed Viterbo to a 3-1 advantage. Evan Wenberg immediately followed with a solo shot to left and the V-Hawks' lead swelled to 4-1.
Cashdollar kept the deficit at three before Eureka threatened in the seventh. Mullin's two-out RBI single plated pinch runner Tanner Kuhne (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S.) to trim the EC deficit to 4-2. A double steal by Green and Mullin put the tying run in scoring position, but VU reliever Colton Anderson shut the door with a strikeout to secure the visitors' two-run victory.
The Red Devils will continue non-conference action Sunday at noon in a doubleheader against USCAA Robert Morris-Springfield, the final two games' of EC's five-game homestand at Henry Sand Field.