EUREKA, Ill. -- David Throw (Cary, Ill./Cary-Grove H.S.) pitched into the sixth inning of game one to win his collegiate debut and Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) continued his March power surge with home runs in both ends of the doubleheader in the Eureka College baseball team's non-conference split with USCAA Robert Morris-Springfield, Sunday afternoon. The Red Devils won game one, 2-1, before the Eagles got even with a 10-6 triumph in the nightcap.
The results moved Eureka's overall record to 3-3-1. The .500 winning percentage under first-year head coach Jerry Rashid remains Eureka's highest through seven games since at least the turn of century. The Red Devils finished their five-day, five-game homestand 2-2-1.
Game 1: Eureka 2, Robert Morris-Springfield 1
Eureka had only four hits in the opener and Mullin had both RBI. Throw struck out five over 5.1 innings and Mason Diederich (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) slammed the door with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief for his second save of the season.
The Red Devils scored the first run of the afternoon in the bottom of the first inning when Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Robert Morris-Peoria) was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on an infield single and ultimately scored on a fielder's choice for a 1-0 cushion.
The score remained 1-0 until Mullin ripped what held up as the game-winning run, a solo shot to left field with two outs in the third inning for a 2-0 lead.
Making his collegiate debut, Throw carried a shutout into the sixth inning. Eric Antenan's RBI double down the left-field line got the Eagles on the board when Nick Grupa scored on the play for a 2-1 deficit. Diederich entered the game with Antenan on second as the tying run, but induced a Daniel Cardenas lineout and a Derek Dickerson groundout to end the frame with the lead intact.
Diederich was able to work around a leadoff walk in the seventh, but not without a game-saving defensive play behind him. With one out and the tying run at second base, right fielder Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) dove to gather Joey Collura's sinking live drive and prevent the runners from advancing. Diederich finished the Eagles with a strikeout moments later and Eureka secured the 2-1 win.
Game 2: Robert Morris-Springfield 10, Eureka 6
Braxten Ary (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.), Mullin and Vogel had two hits apiece to pace Eureka's offense in the nightcap. Rashid used five different hurlers in the seven-inning contest. Joe Quinn (Coal City, Ill./Coal City H.S./Illinois Valley) struck out two and Brandon Porter (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln Way Central H.S.) pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Antenan set the tone early for the Eagles, sending a two-run double into right field in the top of the first inning for a 2-0 cushion. RMU scored in each of the first three innings and Collura's two-run single up the middle in the third pushed the early RMU lead to 7-0.
Eureka was slow to get into a rhythm against RMU starter Dylan Murillo, but broke through in a big way in the fourth when Mullin elevated his fourth home run in five days, a three-run bomb to left field to slash RMU's lead to 7-3.
The Eagles extended their lead back to seven with a three-run sixth inning. Cardenas hit a solo home run, followed by a walk to Alston Howard and a two-run homer from Dickerson for a 10-3 advantage. The Red Devils kept pace with the Eagles in the bottom of the frame, chasing Murillo from the contest after three consecutive doubles started the inning.
Michael Shriver limited the damage in relief, allowing a sacrifice fly to Jeremy Sinople (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) and helping the visitors to take a 10-6 lead into the final inning. Shriver navigated the seventh without issue. A one-out walk to Green didn't cause damage.
Eureka will begin the 22-game St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule on Friday at 1 p.m. in a doubleheader against Greenville in Greenville, Ill.