ELSAH, Ill. – The Eureka baseball team fell just short of recording its first St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sweep of the season on Saturday.
After grinding out a 5-1 win over the Panthers in the opener, the Red Devils dropped a 5-4 contest in Game 2. EC is now 9-13 on the season and 4-6 in league play, sitting third in the West Division.
Game 1: Eureka 5, Principia 1
Eureka took control early on with a four-run rally on four hits in the first inning.
After Mike Redmond (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) singled with one out, Drew Thoele (Teutopolis, Ill./Teutopolis) drove him in with an RBI triple. Dean Moir (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) made it 2-0 with an RBI single to left field, and two batters later, Hunter Triche (Gray, La. H.L. Bourgeois) delivered his second home run of the season to extend the lead to four.
In the second inning, Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) came up with an RBI sacrifice to make it 5-0, and it stayed that way until the sixth inning, when Principia's Will Adler hit a solo home run.
EC's J.D. Theile (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) recorded his fourth win of the year for the Red Devils after only allowing one earned run in seven innings. The freshman, who has the second-lowest ERA in the SLIAC (1.88), conceded five hits and three walks while striking out six.
The Red Devils tallied nine hits on the game, with Redmond, Thoele and Noah Harlan (Knoxville, Ill./Knoxville) all knocking two apiece.
Thoele posted a triple and a double and stole two bases. Green also had two steals, while Triche, Redmond and Joe Quinn (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) each swiped one.
Game 2: Principia 5, Eureka 4
In Game 2, the Red Devils built a four-run lead over the course of five innings. However, Principia got on the board in the sixth and took the lead in the seventh, thanks to four runs on three hits and two costly EC errors. Eureka was unable to respond after that, stranding two on base in the eighth and one on in the ninth.
Gregory Cluskey (East Peoria, Ill./Metamora) took the loss for EC despite only allowing three earned runs on six hits and fanning four in 6 1/3 innings.
Just like in the first game, EC racked up nine hits.
Thoele went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Green contributed two hits, including an RBI triple, swiped two bases and scored two runs. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mason Diederich (Washington, Ill./Washington) recorded the first hit – a double in the eighth inning – of his collegiate career.
Up Next: The Red Devils will host Lincoln Christian in a non-conference makeup game at Henry Sand Field on Monday at 3 p.m.