Aces lose, win on final day of the regular season


While the scoreboard at Duffy Bass Field may have shown the University fo Evansville on the wrong end of an 11-4 decision to Illinois State, the Aces still left the diamond smiling with the knowledge they’d clinched a coveted top four spot in next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Championships in Normal, Illinois.

After falling behind 1-0 after the opening frame, the UE bats erased the deficit and then some in the top of the second inning. Junior center fielder Troy Beilsmith continued his torrid late season push at the plate, sending an RBI single to center, plating senior left fielder Matthew Jones for the equalizer, Next, senior third baseman Sam Troyerlaid down a picture perfect but single to second, bringing in freshman second baseman Danny Borgstrom, giving the Aces the lead. Senior right fielder Nate Reeder capped the three-run uprising with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring freshman designated hitter Eric Roberts for an insurance tally, making it 3-1 Evansville.

Senior left-hand starting pitcher Alex Weigand would come back to toss a perfect bottom of the second, but in the third, the Redbirds would get one back on a Joe Aeilts RBI single, cutting the UE lead to one.

However, Eric Roberts would get it back with one swing of the bat, drilling his first collegiate home run. The solo homer to left would bump the Aces lead up to 4-2.

From there, it was all Illinois State, as not even a one hour and 13 minute rain delay would cool them off, striking for nine unanswered runs against Alex Weigand and the Aces bullpen the rest of the way.

The loss dropped Evansville’s final regular season record to 24-27 and 11-10 in Missouri Valley Conference, while Illinois State finishes the regular season with an overall record of 14-7, good enough for a share of the MVC regular season title with Dallas Baptist, though they will be the second seed in next week’s tournament.

As for the Aces, they finished the regular season tied for fourth place with Bradley. However, due to Evansville’s sweep of the Braves during the regular season, UE gets the fourth and final spot in the new-look tournament bracket, while Bradley will be the fifth seed and play in the single elimination game Tuesday. Evansville will square off against in-state rival Indiana State, the third seed in the tournament, Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Duffy Bass Field.