EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Fueled by two home runs by Troy Beilsmith, the University of Evansville baseball team swept a doubleheader from South Dakota State, 3-2 and 11-1, on Saturday at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.
”What a special day from Troy Beilsmith,” said Aces head baseball coach Wes Carroll on the redshirt senior’s massive day. “Troy made a big decision to come back and have a true senior season. It’s great that he can have this type of experience.”
Game One: Evansville 3, SDSU 2 (7 Inn.)
Pitchers for both Evansville and SDSU shined in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Aces sent junior Caleb Reinhardt to the mound, while the Jackrabbits started sophomore Drew Beazley.
Beazley and Reinhardt combined to strikeout seven batters in the first three innings as the Jackrabbits allowed just two hits in that span, while Reinhardt faced the minimum. After Beazley exited after the third, SDSU brought in Ryan Bourassa, who continued the strong effort on the mound, allowing just two hits and striking-out four.
Reinhardt took a perfect outing into the sixth before the Jacks recorded a single and double with one out. Later in the sixth, with the bases loaded, SDSU pushed a run across on a fielder’s choice, taking the lead, 1-0.
Junior Eric Roberts replaced Reinhardt to start the seventh and was effective, allowing a run to come across, but held the Jackrabbits lead to just two heading into the bottom half of the seventh.
SDSU pulled Bourassa after the sixth and brought in Eli Sundquist. Evansville proceeded to get its offense going, opening the inning with a single by senior Craig Shepherd. After a strikeout, sophomore Danny Borgstrom pinch-hit for the Aces, earning a walk. With sophomore Evan Kahre pinch running at first, Evansville got a run back on consecutive wild pitches, scoring Shepherd. Trailing by one, Kahre came home on another free pass, this one of the balk variety as Evansville tied the game at 2-2. After a strikeout put a second out on the scoreboard, Beilsmith stepped to the plate. The Weldon Spring, Mo. native came up big, driving a homer to left field and walking-off the game with a 3-2 Evansville win.
”In game one, Caleb Reinhardt was outstanding and kept us in the game so our offense could find a way,” remarked Carroll on the doubleheader opener. " A leadoff single from Shepherd was huge (in the seventh) and then Troy delivers a heroic HR to win it.”
Game Two: Evansville 11, SDSU 1 (7 Inn.)
Evansville’s offense got off to a much quicker start in game two, generating runs in the bottom of the first. Beilsmith continued his tear, scoring Crews on an RBI groundout in the opening inning. Scherry next stepped to the plate and ripped a ball to right field. After a diving play by the SDSU right fielder was unsuccessful, Scherry turned on the jets. The freshman sprinted around third after the ball rolled all the way to the wall and beat a relay throw home, scoring an inside-the-park home run.
Crews continued his hot streak with a pair of RBI singles in the fifth and sixth innings, which were split by a sacrifice fly in the sixth for SDSU, to give the redshirt junior six RBI on the day and increasing Evansville’s lead to 4-1.
The seventh inning proved crucial in the contest as Scherry led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After freshman Mark Shallenberger walked, Borgstrom delivered a run with an RBI base-hit to center.
Junior Mason Brinkley walked in the next at bat, forcing a change for the Jackrabbits. After the pitching change, Widder sliced a two-run double that scored Shallenberger and Borgstrom, followed by an RBI single from fellow freshman Max Malley that scored Brinkley and elevated UE’s lead to 8-1.
Looking to replicate his last at bat in game one, Beilsmith did just that in the seventh against the Jacks. Beilsmith drilled a 2-2 pitch to left field, clearing the wall and walking-off with an 11-1 seven inning run-rule win for the Aces.
”In game two, Jake McMahill gives us another quality performance and the top of our order delivers eight hits including the second walk-off HR of the day from Beilsmith,” said Carroll on the game two performance. “I love everything about this team right now and the character they are showing.”
On the day, the top of the order (Kenton Crews and Troy Beilsmith) was fantastic for the Aces, going 9-of-15 from the plate, while generating seven RBI.
Evansville and the Jackrabbits close-out the four-game series Sunday afternoon at 1 PM at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.