Baseball Aces work the brooms on Western Illinois

Baseball Aces work the brooms on Western Illinois

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - CouThe University of Evansville baseball team worked the brooms on Western Illinois, completing the three game sweep of the Leathernecks, winning 6-3 Sunday afternoon at Braun Stadium.

"I thought we really played good baseball all weekend", said University of Evansville head coach Wes Carroll. "It started on the mound for us. Our arms did an outstanding job for us."

The Purple Aces (4-5) got the jump on Western Illinois in the opening frame, as senior catcher Andrew Tanous hit a hot shot at third base, allowing sophomore infielder Troy Beilsmith to tally the icebreaker. That would be the only run Evansville would score in the first four innings.

However, that appeared to be enough for sophomore starting pitcher David Ellis, who continued Evansville's weekend-long shutout streak over the Leathernecks in the early innings, pushing it 22 frames overall.

The game remained a 1-0 affair until the fifth, when Grant Hannant led off the inning with a single to center, advanced to second on an Ellis balk, then stole third. That would end Ellis' day, as he gave way to freshman relief pitcher Jace Burke. Freshman pinch hitter Caleb Jacobs lifted a sac-fly to to center, bringing in Hannant for Western Illinois' first run of the weekend, tying the game at 1. Ellis would be charged with the run. For the day, the sophomore would go four innings, giving up just two hits while walking one and striking out one.

Evansville made sure the deadlock wouldn't last long, as senior outfielder Dalton Horstmeier launched a two run double down the left field line, scoring freshman infielder Tanner Craig, giving the Aces back the lead. Junior infielder Sam Troyer followed that up with a bunt single, tallying Horstmeier for the insurance run, making it 3-1 Evansville.

Western Illinois would battle back, scoring a run in both the sixth and seventh innings, knotting the game at 3. Evansville senior set-up man Ryan Brady would relieve Jimmy Ward in the top of the seventh, putting out the fire, keeping the game tied.

However, the Aces would erupt for three runs with two outs in the eighth inning, beginning Tanous, knocking in his second RBI of the day, singling in Beilsmith, giving Evansville back the lead.

"From an offensive standpoint, we had some quality trips to the plate", said Carroll. "To be able to get Andrew Tanous up in a clutch situation right there, with two strikes and two out situation, to be able to take the lead was a big turning point in the game." 

Then, freshman infielder Pete Vaccaro came off the bench to stroke a two run pinch hit single to center, pushing Evansville's lead to 6-3.

"Pete Vacarro coming up in a pinch hit situation", said Carroll. "He's a guy I knew was going to give us a scrappy at-bat, a rally clutch two-run knock." 

Brady would come back out and close out the win, earning his first victory of the season. Western Illinois reliever Alex Dorethy would pick up the loss for the Leathernecks.

Up next for the Purple Aces is a non-conference showdown with Bowling Green State Wednesday at 3 p.m. back at Braun Stadium.

Courtesy: University of Evansville Athletics