Diamond Aces fall in MVC opener

Diamond Aces fall in MVC opener
Jonathan Ramon picked up his eighth home run of the season late on Friday night, but the three-run blast would prove too little, too late for the University of Evansville baseball team as the Purple Aces dropped a 6-5 decision to visiting Wichita State in the Missouri Valley opener at Charles H. Braun Stadium.
“We didn’t play good enough baseball to win tonight,” UE head coach Wes Carroll said. “A lot of little things just started to add up to a one-run loss. Walks and errors helped them to four runs, and then we weren’t able to capitalize on our chances, which is what you have to do to win on Friday nights in this conference.”
The Aces (15-13, 0-1 MVC) were unable to cash in on scoring opportunities in the early goings, stranding six runners through the opening three frames, but it would be a different story for the visitors from Kansas as a first inning infield single and sacrifice fly scored two. The Shockers (11-19) went on to add one more in the second with another sac fly before a Jeff Christen groundout put UE on the board in the bottom half of the frame.
Trey Vickers and Dayton Dugas each scored twice in the game to lead WSU, and Mikel Mucha logged a pair of runs batted in despite finishing 0-for-3 at the plate.
The Shockers added another run in the fourth and two more in the sixth before Ramon’s home run put UE back on the board. The rally would keep going as Josh Jyawook singled and Korbin Williams followed up with a walk, but WSU reliever Tyler Jones was able to limit the damage to just one run to keep the Aces from leveling.
Ramon finished the day 2-for-4 with a pair of scores and Boomer Synek ended 3-for-5 as the Aces out-hit WSU 10-6.
Willie Schwanke picked up the win for the Shockers to improve to 5-3 on the year, and Patrick Schnieders saw his streak of four straight quality starts upended after allowing all six runs (four earned) on five hits and five walks.
UE and WSU will both return to action at Braun Stadium on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

NOTES: With eight home runs, Jonathan Ramon has the most for an Aces player since current assistant Cody Fick hit nine in 2011 … Overall the Aces have 28 homers this season, the most for any UE team since 2010 … Since 1978, UE is 27-57 against Wichita State … Last season, the Aces were swept in Wichita, but UE picked up two out of three in the Shockers’ last trip to Evansville in 2014 … The first meeting between the two squads was in 1995, the first year that UE was in the MVC … UE dropped three of four games that season before eliminating the Shockers from the Valley tournament … The first series win for UE was in 2005 … Since 1978, the first season that UE participated in NCAA Division I baseball, WSU is the only team from Kansas that the Aces have played … All-time, the Aces are 8-14 in MVC openers and 32-37 in MVC opening series … This weekend marks the third time that UE started conference play with WSU … Previously, the Shockers took three out of four in both 1995 and 2002.

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Courtesy: University of Evansville Sports Information Department