Young Red Devils Eager to Begin Baseball Season

Photo by Blake Baxter.
Photo by Blake Baxter.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – After a long offseason, the Eureka baseball team is finally ready to open the 2021 season.

On Wednesday, the Red Devils will take on Illinois College in a season-opening road game at 1:30 p.m. It will be the first time the team has been in NCAA Division III competition since March 11, 2020.

The Red Devils have changed a lot since then. Some have graduated or moved on and many newcomers have eagerly taken their place.

Fourth-year EC coach Jerry Rashid says that the Red Devils have just two seniors who will regularly be in the starting lineup in outfielder Kyle Christman and catcher Dean Moir.

"We will be very young," Rashid said. "There will be several freshmen and sophomores filling out the starting nine. It will be challenging, but we'll improve as the young players get more experience."

Sophomore infielders Jelby Cheramie and Austin Davis return after getting their feet wet in EC's 14-game 2020 season. Freshmen position players Karter Hostetler, Braden Cross, Alex Barney and Dylan Hill are all expected to be in the mix as well. Many will have the opportunity to represent the maroon and gold this spring.

The pitching staff will feature experienced arms in senior pitchers Greg Cluskey and Jared Smith and redshirt junior David Throw, along with freshmen Trevor Wingard and Ryan Bredeson.

Illinois College (0-2) opened its season over the weekend with a pair of losses to Simpson College, falling 7-3 and 4-8.