For eight innings, the University of Evansville baseball team played even with Indiana State. Unfortunately, the third inning was a different story, as the Aces fell in their Missouri Valley Conference Championships opener, 7-0.
Junior right hand pitcher Adam Lukas (5-6) looked sharp early, tossing a pair of perfect frames to open the game. However, Indiana State would catch up with him in the third inning, loading up the bases. That’s when the Sycamores Jake Means launched a grand slam home run to left, giving ISU a 4-0 advantage. Indiana State would tack on one more, ending Lukas’ night, with Evansville down 5-0. Freshman left-hand reliever Michael Parks came in and gave up a 2-run double, before finally putting out the fire.
Parks would settle in from there, keeping the Sycamores off the scoreboard the rest of the way, going 5 2/3 innings, striking out four, giving up just one hit in the process.
However, the Aces offense, which out hit Indiana State 7-5, had several scoring opportunities early, but stranded seven runners in the first five innings.
“We had a chance to get out of their big offensive inning but couldn’t minimize the damage”, said Aces head coach Wes Carroll. “We had some chances early offensively but couldn’t get the RBI knock. You have to credit their starter and the at bats their offense put together in that big 3rd inning. We have shown fight throughout the year so there is no doubt in my mind we will give it our all tomorrow.”
The loss drops the Aces to 24-28 overall and 11-11 in MVC play. They will now face elimination Thursday afternoon, when they take on Dallas Baptist University. First pitch from Duffy Bass Field is at 3 p.m.