MARION, IL (WFIE) - After getting blasted by Iowa in the series opener, the University of Evansville baseball team bounced back in a big way, earning a doubleheader sweep of the Hawkeyes Sunday afternoon at Rent One Park in Marion, Illinois."Huge bounce back day for our program and our guys", said University of Evansville head coach Wes Carroll. “Last night was rough. It was one of those unlucky type of days. The wind was howling. Every single thing they put in play seemed to find an open spot. So for us to come out and have the performance that we did in every aspect of the game and I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”
In game one of the twin bill, the Aces sent left-hander Nathan Croner (3-1) to the hill, and delivered a clutch performance, going seven shutout innings, striking out seven, while scattering two hits.The offense backed the junior southpaw, beginning in the fourth frame when freshman designated hitter A.J. Fritz sent a single to center, tallying senior right fielder Matthew Jones for the icebreaker. Later in the inning, senior third baseman SamTroyer laid down a bunt single, bringing in senior center fielder Nate Reeder, making it 2-0, Evansville. In the fifth inning, the Aces put two aboard, then Tanner Craig stroked a ground rule double down the right field line, tallying both junior catcher Ben Komonosky and junior right fielder Troy Beilsmith, doubling the Evansville lead to 4-0. In the seventh frame, Nate Reeder kept the UE offense rolling with a double down the right field line, bringing in Troy Beilsmith. Sophomore first baseman Tanner Craig would later score on a wild pitch, giving Evansville a six run pad.Senior right hander Austin Allinger would take over for Croner in the eighth and take it the rest of the way, holding theHawkeyes to a single hit, while striking out three across a pair of shutout frames.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Aces would get on the board first in the opening frame, as Nate Reeder’s lead-off double led to the opening tally of the game.Meanwhile, senior left-hander Alex Weigand got the start, and navigated the rugged Hawkeyes’ batting order, giving up just one run on five hits, while striking out a pair across 3 2/3 innings. He would give way to freshman right-hander Shane Gray (1-0), and the newcomer delivered getting in and out of bases loaded jams without giving up a run across 4 1/3 innings of shutout work.The Aces offense would tack on another run on an RBI double off the bat of freshman second baseman Danny Borgstrom in the fourth inning, and another in the fifth as Sam Troyer raced home on a wild pitch, pushing the UE lead to 3-1.Junior right-hander Jake McMahill would come into finish off the game in the ninth, and got out of a jam with runners on the corners to end the game, earning his second save of the season.
The doubleheader sweep moves Evansville above the .500 mark for the first time this season, while Iowa drops to 7-6.Up next for the Aces is a midweek match-up with Southern Indiana for their annual “Battle at the Braun”.