MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Eureka baseball team opened its spring break trip with a split against Wisconsin-Platteville on Saturday.
The Red Devils trounced the Pioneers 16-5 in Game 1 and fell short 5-3 in Game 2.
Eureka is now 5-4 on the season heading into the second half of the four-game series on Sunday. The Red Devils will face the Pioneers again at 10 a.m. and then wrap up the series at 1 p.m.
GAME 1: Eureka 16, Wisconsin-Platteville 5
The bats came out early and often for the Red Devils in Game 1 on Saturday.
The team racked up a season-high 16 runs on nine hits, with six players notching at least one.
Freshman Nathan Garard (Gibson City, Ill./Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley) led the way, going 3-for-5 while delivering his first collegiate grand slam to blow open the game in the third inning.
It happened during a seven-run rally.
After Eureka built a 7-0 lead in the first two innings, Wisconsin-Platteville tallied four runs on four hits in the bottom of the second to trim the lead to three runs.
Then, after a fielder's choice by Braxten Ary (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central), Stone scored on a wild pitch, Kyle Christman (Peru, Ill./La Salle-Peru) and Dean Moir (Coal City, Ill./Coal City) both walked and Mason Diederich (Washington, Ill./Washington) was hit by a pitch to bring in another run.
Following Jake Carter's (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville) RBI sacrifice fly that made it 10-4, Noah Harlan (Knoxville, Ill./Knoxville) walked to load the bases again, setting up Garard to rip one over the left-field fence and make it 14-4.
EC tacked on two more runs in the fourth.
Carter went 2-for-2 with 3 RBIs. Redmond, Ary, Moir and Diederich all had one hit.
Sophomore ace J.D. Theile (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) improved to 3-0 on the season after limiting the Pioneers to five runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out eight.
GAME 2: Wisconsin-Platteville 5, Eureka 3
Eureka fell short despite outhitting Wisconsin-Platteville 6-3.
Freshman pitcher Tucker Sams (Williamsfield, Ill./Williamsfield) allowed four runs on three hits and four walks while striking out five, taking the loss on the day.
The Red Devils got on the board first after an RBI single by Carter in the second inning, but Wisconsin-Platteville took the lead with a two-run homer by Josh Moses in the bottom of the third.
EC tied the game in the fourth after an RBI single by Jelby Cheramie (Lockport, La./South Laforche). However, the Pioneers picked up two runs following an error in the bottom of the fourth, and never trailed again.
Redmond scored on an error with two outs in the ninth to make it 5-3, but Michael Greco caught Diederich looking to end the threat and seal the split.