EC Opens Season with Pair of 9-0 wins over Northland

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

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – For the first time this century, the Eureka College baseball team opened the season with a doubleheader sweep on Friday.

The Red Devils took care of Northland College with a pair of 9-0 shutouts at Lenz Field.

The first win of the day marked the Red Devils' second season-opening victory of the past three years. The second pushed a team looking to make program history this spring into uncharted territory on the first day of the season.

Game 1: Eureka 9, Northland 0

Sophomore Gregory Cluskey (East Peoria, Ill./Metamora) gave up just one hit in six innings to notch the first win of the year for the Red Devils while striking out five and walking just one.

Eureka picked up its first four runs of the game on wild pitches. Senior Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone/Robert Morris-Peoria) and sophomore Mike Redmond (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) each scored in both the first and third innings to give Eureka a 4-0 lead before Northland had recorded a hit.

In the fourth, Redmond drove in another run, and two batters later, freshman Hunter Triche (Gary, La./H.L. Bourgeois) delivered a two-run double to make it 7-0.

Then, in the seventh, juniors Braxten Ary (Green Valley, Ill./St. Rita) and Kyle Finke (Argenta, Ill./Argenta-Oreana) each produced RBI groundouts.

Green and Redmond each scored three runs, while junior Jake Carter(Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville) had a pair of walks. Green and Ary each stole two bases and Redmond swiped one.

Game 2: Eureka 9, Northland 0

In the late game, Eureka racked up nine runs on 14 hits. Ten Red Devils recorded hits, and Green, Ary and seniors Joe Quinn (Coal City, Ill./Coal City/Illinois Valley) and Jeremy Sinople (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) all had two apiece.

Sinople and senior Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) each had two RBIs.

Five EC pitchers combined for a five-hit shutout. Freshman J.D. Theile (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) earned the first win of his career, allowing three hits, striking out seven and only walking two in his Red Devil debut. Kyle Cashdollar (Morton, Ill./Morton), Brock Pettit (Ashland, Ill./A-C Central), Isaiah Davis (Morton, Ill./Morton) and Brandon Porter (Manhattan, Ill./Lincoln Way Central) all contributed one inning of shutout ball.

Green scored the first run of the game after stealing third base and taking advantage of a throwing error in the first inning. Two innings later, the Red Devils posted five runs on six hits and an error. After Mullin drove in Green on a groundout to third, Sinople ripped a two-run triple, and Ary and Austin McCarty (Oakwood, Ill./Oakwood) both had RBI singles.

EC added another run in the fourth, seventh and eighth innings to finish it off.