EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College freshman right-hander Brady Sevier (Pekin, Ill./Pekin H.S.) pitched through the sixth inning and earned the victory in his first collegiate start and junior right fielder Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) went 3-for-4 to lead the Red Devils' 10-hit outburst, lifting EC to a 9-3 non-conference win over Lincoln Christian, Monday afternoon at Henry Sand Field.
LCU took advantage of a leadoff walk and a throwing error to snag a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Red Devils answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second, tying the game at 1-1 on an RBI double from junior shortstop Ethan Gates (Batavia, Ill./Batavia H.S./Waubonee) and taking the lead for good when freshman catcher Kyle Finke (Argenta, Ill./Argenta-Oreana H.S.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field for a 2-1 advantage.
A bases-loaded walk to junior center fielder Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) stretched the EC advantage to 3-1 in the third. LCU clawed back within a run on Ted Lingle's sacrifice fly in the fourth, but the Red Devils again responded with run-scoring hits from Vogel and junior second baseman Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) for a 5-2 cushion.
Eureka put the contest out of reach with a three-run fifth inning. Taylor reached on a fielder's choice and later scored when the Red Lions threw away Finke's sacrifice bunt. Freshman left fielder Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.) followed with a sacrifice fly and Vogel ultimately drove in a run with an infield single. When the dust settled in the inning, EC led 8-2.
Gates drove in the Red Devils' final tally of the afternoon when his second double of the day scored sophomore designated hitter Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) in the bottom of the eighth.
Seven different Red Devils hit safely, led by Vogel's three-hit effort. Gates doubled twice. Both Vogel and Gates had a pair of RBI and Mullin scored twice.
After making 11 consecutive relief appearances to begin his collegiate career, Sevier was outstanding in his first start. He worked around an unearned run in the first inning to limit the Red Lions to two runs on two hits over 6.0 innings. He struck out eight and earned his second career win. Freshman Trenton Hall (Catlin, Ill./Salt Fork H.S.) delivered 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play will resume for the Red Devils Wednesday when West Division rival Iowa Wesleyan travels to Henry Sand Field for a 3:30 p.m. start. The contest against the Tigers will be the final game of a 19-day, 12-game homestand for Eureka.