EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On a night meant for celebration, the University of Evansville baseball team followed suit, downing Indiana, 5-4, on opening night of German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.
The evening began with three ceremonial first pitches, including members from German American Bank and UE President Chris Pietruszkiewicz to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated stadium.
Evansville got its offense started early, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning. After senior Craig Shepherd reach base, junior Tanner Craig smashed a double off the wall in left field, scoring Shepherd and giving the Aces a one-run advantage early.
The Hoosiers would answer in the top of the third inning as a wild pitch scored Richardson from third base, tying the contest at a run each. Evansville though wasted little time retaking the lead, moving in front in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by senior Kenton Crews that sent Shepherd home. Senior Troy Beilsmith doubled the advantage with an RBI walk two at bats later. With the bases still loaded, freshman Max Malley came up huge. Malley laced a base hit through the middle, scoring sophomore Indiana Stanley and senior Kenton Crews to provide Evansville with a 5-1 lead.
Indiana crawled back within one run after scoring two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to cut Evansville lead to just a run. The Hoosiers looked poised to tie the game in the top of the eighth inning, putting a pair of runners on with no outs. A crucial moment in the game, Richardson appeared to hit into a double play, but freshman Brent Widder’s throw to first sailed high appearing to have allowed the tying run to score. During the process of the play, the second base umpire ruled the Hoosier’s runner to have interfered with Widder on his throw and confirmed so by replay, giving the Aces a double play and leaving the Hoosiers with two outs. Freshman Jace Kressin took advantage of the play, forcing a ground out from the next batter to end the inning and the threat.
In the top of the ninth, sophomore Michael Parks came in to close out the contest and did just that. Parks forced two fly outs and ended the game with a ground out to second as the Aces captured the 5-4 win over Indiana.
Freshman Mark Shallenberger led the Aces, going two-for-three from the plate with a run scored and a walk. On the mound, junior Caleb Reinhardt earned his first win as an Ace, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on two hits.
The win was the first over the Hoosiers for Evansville since a 2-1 14-inning victory on April 15, 2014.
Evansville remains at home this weekend for a three-game series against Purdue on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at German American Bank Field.
Text Courtesy: UE Athletics