SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – University of Evansville fifth-year outfielder Eric Roberts was a one-man wrecking crew on Sunday, as he launched two home runs and drove in five runs to help the Purple Aces complete a Missouri Valley Conference series sweep at Missouri State with a 7-4 victory.

“What a special weekend this weekend at the ballyard by our club,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll.  “To come on the road and sweep a very good ballclub in Missouri State is a great feather in the cap for our team, and a great way to start Missouri Valley Conference play.

“Today, it was fun to watch Eric Roberts hit, as he was really dialed in.  But, like all weekend, we had different guys up and down the lineup come through in big spots today to pick up this win.  It will be good to return home this week, and hopefully, we can keep this winning streak going.”

Evansville (16-7 overall, 3-0 MVC) won its ninth-straight game behind the bat of Roberts, who homered in back-to-back at-bats in the fourth and sixth innings to help UE overcome an early 2-0 deficit.

The Bears grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run home run by freshman outfielder Zack Stewart, his fifth home run of the year.  UE would get a run back in the third inning on an RBI single by fifth-year first baseman Chase Hug.  Then, Evansville would plate four runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good.

Sophomore DH Ben Stuart tied the game at 2-2 with an RBI ground out.  Then, after a more-than 10-pitch at-bat by sophomore outfielder Ty Rumsey led to a walk with two outs to put two men on base, Roberts crushed his first home run of the day onto the roof of the indoor facility in right-center field to give UE a 5-2 lead.  Roberts would then launch another two-run home run in the sixth inning to help UE build a 7-2 cushion.

The Bears would score two runs in the eighth inning on a two-run double by Stewart to cut the lead to 7-4.  UE closer Nate Hardman would get a strikeout against the potential tying run in the eighth inning, and induced a key double play in the ninth inning to earn his second save and make a winner of starter Donovan Schultz.  Schultz (4-1) allowed just two runs on four hits in 5.0 innings of work, while striking out four.

Roberts finished the game going 2-for-3 with two home runs and five RBI.  Hug also had a two-hit day for UE.  Stewart went 3-for-4 with four RBI for Missouri State (11-11, 0-3 MVC).

Evansville will now return home to German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium to host Southeast Missouri State on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m.  The game can be heard live in the Tri-State area on the Old National Bank/Purple Aces Sports Network courtesy of 107.1 FM-WJPS.