Aces drop an 11-8 slugfest in series opener with Xavier


The University of Evansville baseball team raced out to a big early lead, only to see the Xavier rally and beat the Aces in an 11-8 slugfest at Hayden Field Friday afternoon.

UE came out swinging, led by freshman designated hitter A.J. Fritz, who got the ball rolling in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run to left, putting Evansville out in front early.

The Aces bats continued to swing away in the second frame, beginning with senior left fielder Nate Reeder sending a run-scoring single to center, plating junior catcher Ben Komonosky, making it 3-0 Evansville. Later in the inning, a fielder’s choice by freshman second baseman Danny Borgstrom would tally Reeder, putting UE up 4-0. Junior shortstop Craig Shepherd would cap the four-run uprising with a two-run home run to left, putting Xavier in a 6-0 hole.

Sophomore first baseman Tanner Craig would tack on another tally in the fourth with an RBI single through the left side of the infield, scoring DannyBorgstrom to put the Aces up 7-0.

Meanwhile, Evansville reigning Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week, Adam Lukas, tossed three shutout innings to start the game. However, a fourth was not to be, as the Musketeers would put four on the board before the junior right-hander exited the game with two outs. For the day, Lukas went 3.2 innings, giving up four runs on three hits, walking two and striking out a pair. Freshman left-hander Michael Parks would come out of the bullpen to get the final out of the inning.

However, the Xavier bats would strike for four more runs in the fifth, taking the lead.

Down 10-7 in the eighth inning, Danny Borgstrom would draw the Aces closer with a solo homer to right, the first of his collegiate career. However, Evansville would get no closer.

The loss drops the Aces to 9-8 on the season, while Xavier improves to 7-13.

Junior left-hand pitcher Nathan Croner will get the start in Saturday’s game two of the series. First pitch from Xavier’s Hayden Field has been pushed back to 1 pm central time.