EVANSVILLE, Ind. –  The University of Evansville baseball team exploded for nine runs in the fifth inning on Tuesday to cruise to a 16-6 victory over visiting Bellarmine at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in the 2024 home opener for the Purple Aces.

“Overall, I thought it was a really good team effort today,” said UE head coach Wes Carroll.  “I was really happy with our offense today.  It kept plugging along early, and we left some guys on base, but then finally it broke through with that big nine-run inning to take control of the game.

“I was also glad to see some different guys be able to get up on the mound for us today.  Guys who weren’t able to see time over the weekend at Oral Roberts, but who are going to be key guys for us this season.  I thought Ethan Bell did a tremendous job of coming in and throwing strikes and keeping us in the contest until we got the offense fully going.  Overall, really pleased with today’s effort, and now it is on to New Orleans.”

Bellarmine jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a pair of unearned runs, but UE would answer right back to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first.  Graduate third baseman Brent Widder roped an RBI double down the left-field line, before UE was able to load the bases and get a run-scoring walk and fielder’s choice.

The Knights would tie the game at 3-3 in the second inning on a sacrifice fly, before UE senior shortstop Simon Scherry delivered an RBI single to help UE retake a 4-3 lead.

Another sacrifice fly by Bellarmine in the fourth inning would tie the game at 4-4, and it would stay that way until the fifth inning, when Evansville exploded for nine runs to put the game out of reach.  Junior outfielder Harrison Taubert opened the scoring with an RBI double to break 4-4 tie, and then pushed across two more runs to cap the nine-run frame thanks to the help of a Bellarmine error.  In between those plays, freshman catcher Kaleb Wilkey drove in his first collegiate run, junior second baseman Cal McGinnis and senior first baseman Kip Fougerousse both knocked RBI doubles, and Scherry and graduate designated hitter Brendan Hord had RBI base hits as well.

The Knights would scratch across two runs in the seventh inning to get within 13-6, before UE would cap the scoring with a three-run eighth inning.  Graduate outfielder Mark Shallenberger crushed a two-run home run to right-center field, and McGinnis added an RBI triple in the frame.

In all, all nine members of the UE starting lineup produced RBI on Tuesday and eight of the nine collected hits.  Taubert drove in a team-high three RBI.  Both Shallenberger and McGinnis finished just one hit shy of the cycle, as Shallenberger needed just a triple, and McGinnis fell just a home run shy of the cycle.  Fougerousse also had a three-hit game for UE.

The victory on the mound went to redshirt sophomore right-hander Ethan Bell, who allowed just a run on a single hit while striking out four men in 3.0 innings of relief work.

With the victory, Evansville improves to 3-1 on the season after winning the last three games in a row.  Bellarmine, meanwhile, falls to 1-3.  Evansville will now travel south to New Orleans to battle the Privateers (2-1 entering a Wednesday game against Southern Miss) in a three-game series beginning on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.  All three games of the weekend series can be seen live on ESPN+.