LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Robert Morris-Peoria) and Kyle Finke (Argenta, Ill./Argenta-Oreana H.S.) hit their first home runs in a Eureka uniform in game one and Joe Quinn (Coal City, Ill./Coal City H.S./Illinois Valley) drilled a go-ahead two-run double in the nightcap, but host Spalding held off a late EC rally to win the opener 9-8 and later used a rally of its own to best the Red Devils in game two, 7-4, to sweep a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Derby City Field on Wednesday in Louisville, Ky.
Eureka slipped to 13-16-1 overall and 7-13 in the SLIAC with Wednesday's losses.
Game 1: Spalding 9, EC 8
Eureka finished the opener with 15 hits, equaling its largest total on the road in 2018. Six different hitters had a multi-hit game and the first four batters in the lineup combined to go 9-for-17 with five runs scored. Ray Vogel (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) led the lineup with three hits, two of which were doubles.
Green started the twin bill with a bang, clubbing Matt Harper's pitch over the left-center field fence for a 1-0 advantage. Quinn tacked on an RBI groundout later in the frame the visitors led 2-0 after a half inning.
Eureka and Spalding traded runs in each of the next four half innings. Green added an RBI single in the second and Quinn lifted a sacrifice fly in the third for Eureka to grab a 4-2 lead, but the Golden Eagles broke out for five runs in the bottom of the third inning. Quenton Browlee pushed SU in front with the biggest blow of the inning, a three-run shot to right-center.
Spalding extended its lead to 8-4 thanks to Dillon Sievert's RBI single in the fifth before Eureka used a four-run outburst in the sixth to pull even. Finke started the rally with his first career home run. Mike Redmond (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) later collected hits to set the table for consecutive RBI singles from Vogel, Quinn and Evan Smith (Moline, Ill./Moline H.S./Sauk Valley) and the game was knotted at 8-8.
The hosts won the game in the bottom of the seventh. A hit batsman, a double and an intentional walk loaded the bases for Clay Kelly, who took a five-pitch walk to force home the winning run.
Game 2: Spalding 7, EC 4
The Red Devils were limited to six hits in the second game. Only Quinn's third-inning double went for extra bases. Kyle Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) made his second career start and pitched into the seventh inning.
Eric Meyer hit a one-out double to center field to stake Spalding to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The SU lead held up until Eureka answered with four runs in the third inning. A single and a pair of errors put the visitors on the board before Quinn's two-run double down the left-field line moved EC in front, 3-2. Tyler Thulean (Chillicothe, Ill./Illinois Valley Central H.S.) chipped in with a two-out infield single that scored Quinn and Eureka led 4-2 at the end of the inning.
SU inched within a run on Meyer's solo home run in the fourth, but it wasn't until the seventh until Spalding regained the lead. Sievert hit a solo home run to tie the game at 4-4. Two batters later after an EC error with two outs extended the inning, Harper doubled down the left-field line to plate Meyer for a 5-4 edge. In the eighth, Garrett Wilson hit a run-scoring triple and later scored on a wild pitch for valuable insurance. The Red Devils were unable to bring the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth.
Eureka will break for semester finals before returning to the diamond next week for a season-ending four-game homestand. The Red Devils will welcome MacMurray to Henry Sand Field next Thursday for a 1 p.m. SLIAC doubleheader.