O'FALLON, Mo. – The Eureka College baseball team held a lead late in game one and forced a tie midway through game two, but host Fontbonne produced big innings in both ends of Friday's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West Division doubleheader to sweep the twin bill from the Red Devils at CarShield Field in O'Fallon, Mo. The Griffins rallied to win the opener, 13-2, and also claimed the nightcap, 16-4.
Eureka slipped to 3-7-1 overall and 0-4 in conference action.
Game 1: Fontbonne 13, EC 2
Eureka and Fontbonne were scoreless until the Red Devils broke through with a two-out rally in the top of the fifth inning. FBU starter John Hughes walked the bases loaded before reliever Cole Lankford issued free passes to Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville H.S.) for a 2-0 lead. In all, the Griffins walked five batters in a row before Lankford induced a flyout to escape further damage.
The hosts recovered to in the bottom of the frame, sending 14 batters to the plate as part of a 10-run rally. Fontbonne tied the game at 2-2 on a bases-loaded walk to Ryan Schocker and took the lead for good one batter later when Michal Puckett, Jr. hit an RBI single.
The Griffins also plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, anchored by Jonathan Hoevelmann's two-run single.
Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Robert Morris-Peoria), Ethan Gates (Batavia, Ill./Batavia H.S./Waubonsee) and Joe Quinn (Coal City, Ill./Coal City H.S./Illinois Valley) hit safely for the visitors. Right-hander Kody Silverthorn held the Griffins scoreless through the first 4.0 innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
Game 2: Fontbonne 16, EC 4
Like the opener, Eureka grabbed an early lead. A pair of FBU fielding errors in the top of the first inning allowed Green to score from third in front of Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) who ripped a run-scoring single to plate Carter and the visitors' lead was 2-0.
Fontbonne answered with a four-run second inning. Hoevelmann's single tied the game at 2-2 before Michael Golich and Jackson Penrod tacked on run-scoring hits for a 4-2 cushion.
Eureka sliced its deficit in half in the third when Braxten Ary (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.) whacked a one-out double to right field and scored on a wild pitch two batters later. The Red Devils ultimately leveled the score in the top of the fifth thanks to Green's run-scoring single for a 4-4 deadlock.
The score remained tied 4-4 until the Griffins plated 12 runs in the bottom of the sixth. Matt Tossick put the wheels in motion on the outburst with a two-run triple to center field. The Griffins collected nine hits in the frame. Only six of FBU's 16 runs in the nightcap were earned.
Left-hander Isaiah Taylor (Princeton, Ill./Princeton H.S./Illinois Valley) pitched into the sixth inning and allowed only two earned runs. He struck out two.
The Red Devils and Griffins will play the final game of their three-game divisional series Saturday at noon in O'Fallon.