NORMAL, Ill. – With their postseason hopes on the line, the University of Evansville baseball team were eliminated from the Missouri Valley Conference Championships by top-seeded Dallas Baptist, 9-2, Thursday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Illinois.
Senior right-hander Justin Hayden got the start for UE, and after pitching a scoreless opening frame, the Patriots bats tagged him for back to back home runs by Andres Sosa, then Augie Isaacson, making 3-0 Dallas Baptist.
Hayden would bounce back to toss a scoreless third, but in the fourth DBU would strike with the long ball again, as HerbertIser drilled a solo homer to right-center, making it 4-0 Dallas Baptist, ending Hayden’s day. Junior left-hander Nathan Cronerwould take over from there and toss two-plus shutout innings.
As for the Aces offense, UE had plenty of opportunities to get on the board early, stranding five runners in the first four frames. Evansville would finally get on the scoreboard in the fifth, as a wild pitch would allow junior outfielder Troy Beilsmithto race home with the Aces’ first tally of the game.
However, in the seventh inning, Dallas Baptist would finally catch up with Croner, as an error on a possible inning-ending double play ball would eventually lead to a five-run frame, ending Croner’s day.
Senior relievers Austin Allinger and Alex Weigand would take it the rest of the way on the mound.
In the bottom of the eighth, freshman designated hitter Eric Roberts gave Evansville it’s second and the last run of the day on a solo home run to right. That would be his second round-tripper of the season.
The loss end the Aces season with an overall record of 24-29 and 11-12 in conference play, while Dallas Baptist improves to 40-16 overall and 15-7 in league play.