Aces Baseball earn first series victory


Big home runs off the bats of Tanner Craig and Troy Beilsmith early led the University of Evansville to their first series victory since March of last season, outslugging Little Rock 10-5, Monday afternoon.

The Aces wasted little time jumping on Trojans pitching, as an error and freshman second baseman Danny Borgstrom in top of the first set the table for sophomore first baseman Tanner Craig , who blasted his first home run of the season, giving UE an early 3-0 lead.

In the top of the second, the Aces onslaught continued as a one-out double by sophomore shortstop Craig Shepherd was followed by back to back walks, lading up the bases for junior outfielder Troy Beilsmith, who grooved his first round tripper of the year. The grand slam put Evansville in the driver’s seat, leading 7-0.

Senior right hand pitcher Justin Hayden made his first start since missing last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, and after a scoreless opening frame, Little Rock would strike for a run in the second and the third. However, the Aces bats would respond in the fourth inning. The rally began with a Troy Beilsmith RBI single to left, scoring Craig Shepherd from second base. Danny Borgstrom would continue the torrid start to his collegiate career with an RBI single to right, tallying senior third baseman Sam Troyer from second. Freshman designated hitter A.J. Fritz capped the three-run rally with a sacrifice fly to right, bringing in Beilsmith, putting Evansville up 10-2.

The Trojans would tag Hayden for one more run before exiting in the fifth inning. For the day, Hayden went four frames, allowing three runs on four hits, striking out three batters, without giving up a walk. Senior southpaw Alex Weigand came in in relief and would give up one run in the fifth. Junior Jake McMahill will take over in the sixth, and was tagged for a single tally as well, as the UE lead got cut to 10-5.

However, that’s as close as the Trojans would get, as freshman right hand reliever Michael Parks would shut down Little Rock the rest of the way, allowing one hit and striking out a pair.

“Great effort from our guys this series to get the win,” said University of Evansville head coach Wes Carroll. “Justin Hayden has had a long road to recovery so to see him back on the hill competing was outstanding. He answered the call in this important rubber match. We played great defense and got a couple big blast offensively to get the series win.”

The victory moves the Aces record to 3-4, dropping Little Rock’s record to 1-6.

Evansville is back in action Friday as they take on Boston College in the first game of the EKU Challenge at Eastern Kentucky University.