Eureka Completes Season Series Sweep of Iowa Wesleyan, 14-5

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

EUREKA, Ill.Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) doubled twice as part of a four-hit effort and Mason Diederich (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) didn't allow an earned run in 6.1 innings of relief in the Eureka College baseball team's 14-5 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over Iowa Wesleyan at Henry Sand Field, Monday afternoon. The victory gave the Red Devils a three-game series sweep of the Tigers, Eureka's first SLIAC sweep since April 2013.

Eureka, which swept a doubleheader from IWU in Mount Pleasant, Iowa earlier this month, won all three games of a SLIAC series for the first time since winning three at Principia on April 5-6, 2013. Monday's nine-run margin of victory was Eureka's largest in a SLIAC game since a 16-4 win in the same Principia series on April 6, 2013.

The Red Devils are now 13-14-1 overall this spring, their highest victory total since winning a school-record 19 games in 2010. EC is also 7-11 in the SLIAC.

Vogel went 4-for-6 with a run scored, two doubles and two RBI out of the cleanup slot in the Eureka lineup. The Red Devils banged out 17 hits as a team as Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Robert Morris-Peoria), Braxten Ary (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central H.S.), Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) and Joe Quinn (Coal City, Ill./Coal City H.S./Illinois Valley) each produced multi-hit efforts.

Diederich struck out five over 6.1 innings of relief, scattering five hits and allowing an unearned run for his team-best third win of the season. He is now one of five Eureka pitchers to throw at least 20.0 innings this season and have an ERA of four or lower.

Iowa Wesleyan, which batted as the home team Monday since the contest was originally scheduled for Mount Pleasant, jumped on Eureka early with a four-run third inning. All of the damage was done with two outs thanks to two-run singles by Chazz Brown and Tyler Cooksey.

The Tigers' lead remained 4-0 until Eureka stunned IWU with a huge fifth inning. The Red Devils took advantage of a disastrous defensive frame from Iowa Wesleyan, coupling four hits with five IWU errors for a seven-run rally. Eight consecutive Red Devils reached safely midway through the inning, as Green, Vogel and Quinn were the only players to drive in runs with a hit. Eureka sent 12 hitters to the plate in the inning.

Quinn and Thomas Harrison (Bushnell, Ill./Bushnell-Prairie City H.S.) hit RBI singles in the seventh to extend EC's lead to 9-4. A bases-loaded walk to Cooksey in the bottom of the inning pulled the Tigers back within 9-5, but IWU would not score again.

Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and Smith had RBI in the eighth. Ary, Vogel and Smith added run-scoring singles in a span of four batters in the top of the ninth to pour it on further for the Red Devils.

Eureka returns to the road in the league on Wednesday in a 1 p.m. CT doubleheader at Spalding. The Golden Eagles were ranked 20th nationally according to the most recent poll by D3baseball.com and 25th nationally by the most recent ABCA/Collegiate Baseball poll. The Red Devils are 1-2 in games against a ranked opponent this season, earning a 2-1 win over then-#25 Webster on April 8.