Notebook: Red Devils Dig in For Seven-Game Road Trip

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

EUREKA, Ill. -- Following a season-long six-game homestand in which the Red Devils won games against three different opponents, the Eureka College baseball team will hit the road again for what is scheduled to be a season-long seven-game road. The upcoming stretch includes road games in three different states over eight days.

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Eureka will break from St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition Wednesday for a 2 p.m. doubleheader at Edgewood in Madison, Wis.
 
The Red Devils will close the week with a three-game SLIAC West Division series with Iowa Wesleyan in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. EC and IWU will play a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m. and finish the weeken series Sunday at 1 p.m.
 
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW
Eureka went 3-3 during last week's homestand, including league wins over Principia last Monday and 25th-ranked Webster on Sunday at Henry Sand Field.
 
Sean Green delivered the go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning and Mason Diederich recorded the final two outs for his third career save and to send the the Red Devils to a 5-3 SLIAC win over Principia in the opener of a league doubleheader in Chillicothe, Ill. The Panthers broke a scoreless tie in the eighth inning of the nightcap en route to a 1-0 win.
 
Last Thursday, Kody Silverthorn struck out a career-high 12 batters on the way to his first victory of 2018 and the offense recorded season highs with 12 runs and 15 hits in EC's 12-2 non-conference rout of NAIA Lincoln Christian. Grant Mullin, Joe Quinn and Evan Smith had three hits apiece to drive the EC lineup. Smith drove in a game-high three and Mullin doubled twice with a pair of RBI.
 
Eureka closed the week with a three-game series against SLIAC power Webster. The Gorloks won the opener on Saturday, 7-1, and the middle game of the series, 7-6, before the Red Devils claimed the finale in a 2-1 decision on Sunday. Quinn gave up one run on three hits in a complete-game effort on the mound and Mullin drilled the go-ahead solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
 
The Red Devils' win on Sunday is the program's first on record over a nationally ranked opponent and ended an 18-game skid in the series with Webster dating back to Eureka's previous victory, an 11-6 triumph at Henry Sand Field on April 23, 2012.
 
AT EDGEWOOD (Wednesday DH, 2 p.m.)
Eureka will take its first road trip to the state of Wisconsin in the 21st century when the Red Devils travel to Madison, Wis. for a 2 p.m. doubleheader with Edgewood.
 
The Eagles are 6-12 this spring, including a 3-3 mark in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action. Edgewood has won three consecutive contests, including a NACC doubleheader sweep of Lakeland on Tuesday in which the Eagles outscored the Muskies 35-5.
 
The Edgewood offense puts up a .262/.385/.341 line through its first 18 games. Nick Cheaney a senior catcher from Oak Creek, Wis., leads the Eagles and ranks 16th in Division III with a .476 average in 18 appearances. Alex Fowler (.317) and Bryan Sternig (.305) also hit .300 or better for the Eagles.
 
More than a dozen Eagles have made a pitching appearance in 2018 and have a staff ERA of 6.17. Senior Steve Gavin serves as the ace, earning a pair of victories and a 2.95 ERA through 39.2 innings. Edgewood averages 8.4 strikeouts per nine innings, 58th-most nationally.
 
Al Brisack is in his 19th season as the head coach at Edgewood. Brisack, who also serves at EC's Director of Athletics, has won 372 games at the Madison-based instiution.
 
Wednesday's twin bill marks the first all-time meeting between the Red Devils and Eagles, as well as EC's first games against a NACC opponent since dropping both games of a doubleheader against Dominican (Ill.) on April 20, 2007. Eureka is scheduled to play six games against NACC members this spring, hosting doubleheaders against Rockford (April 24) and Dominican (May 4) later this season.
 
AT IOWA WESLEYAN (Saturday DH, 1 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.)
Eureka will return to the 22-game SLIAC schedule this weekend in a three-game series at Iowa Wesleyan.
 
The Tigers are 6-20 this spring and still in search of their first league victory with a winless 0-12 SLIAC record. IWU is scheduled to host Monmouth in a doubleheader Wednesday before Eureka visits Saturday and Sunday.
 
Through 26 contests, Iowa Wesleyan has a team batting line of .251/.343/.356. Junior infielder Chazz Brown hits .308 in a team-high 91 plate appearances and ranks fourth in the SLIAC with 14 stolen bases.
 
Iowa Wesleyan allows more than nine earned runs per game, putting up a team ERA of 9.17 over 189.1 innings. Sophomore Stephen Larson has logged a team-high 34.0 innings and freshman Cody Brown has earned two of the Tigers' six wins.
 
The 2018 season is Blake Beaber's first as head coach at IWU. Beaber played collegiately at NAIA Ashford and previously served as a graduate assistant coach at NAIA William Penn.
 
Iowa Wesleyan swept last season's three-game series, including a doubleheader in Mount Pleasant. The Tigers have won eight of 12 contests in the series since IWU joined the SLIAC prior to the 2014 season.