EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College junior left-hander Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) earned his second consecutive quality start on the mound and junior designated hitter Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) smashed his fifth home run of the season, but Fontbonne won the first two games of a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division weekend series with a 3-0 win in game one and a 10-5 triumph in game two, Saturday afternoon at Henry Sand Field.
Game one moved at a brisk pace. The Griffins broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Ethan Boyer coaxed a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on Ben Greenway's RBI single up the middle for a 1-0 lead.
Eureka didn't collect its first hit until freshman second baseman Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.) pushed a one-out single to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. An infield pop up and a flyout ended the frame with Carter stranded at first base.
The Griffins added insurance in the seventh, extending their lead to 3-0 on Ethan Borrow's two-run home run. The Red Devils went down in order in the bottom of the frame.
FU starter Levi Earnest was outstanding, yielding only Carter's hit and walking two over 6.0 innings. Joey Clemente worked a perfect seventh inning to earn the save. Taylor nearly matched Earnest through most of the contest. He allowed three earned runs on six hits over in 6.2 innings of work.
In game two, the Griffins scored in each of the first three innings to build an early 3-0 lead. The advantage ballooned to 7-0 in the sixth thanks to a pair of EC errors and run-scoring singles from Ryan Schocker, Patrick Schuff and Matt Tossick.
Vogel homered in the sixth to get the hosts on the board. The Eureka deficit was eventually 9-1 in the seventh before EC sent eight batters to the plate in the inning to cut its deficit in half. The Red Devils scored four times on only two hits, including two-run double into the right-center field gap from sophomore catcher Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) to trail 9-5. Clemente came on in relief to end the rally and didn't allow a hit over the final 2.1 innings, securing Fontbonne's doubleheader sweep.
Vogel, Mullin and sophomore left fielder Jeremy Sinople (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) had two hits apiece in the nightcap. Freshman reliever Brandon Porter (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln Way Central H.S.) pitched 1.0 scoreless inning of relief.With inclement weather in the forecast, Sunday's series finale between the Red Devils and Griffins has been moved up to a 9 a.m. start at Henry Sand Field.