Eagles lose tough battle with Trojans


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – University of Southern Indiana Baseball could not hold off the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and lost 11-9 Friday evening in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Screaming Eagles are 22-28 overall and 11-11 OVC, while Trojans go to 27-21, 14-8 OVC.
With the loss, USI falls to sixth in the OVC standings. The Eagles also remain a game behind fifth-place University of Tennessee at Martin and two games Tennessee Tech University with five conference games remaining.
USI struck first in the opening game of the series, taking a 1-0 lead in the first frame. USI junior second baseman Thomas Emerich (Ava, Missouri) laced a double to right field to score senior first baseman Tucker Ebest (Austin, Texas) from second base.
The lead would remain 1-0 until the fourth inning when the Trojans pushed a pair across the plate for a 2-1 lead. USI responded to regain the lead, 4-2, with three runs in the top of the fifth.
USI junior centerfielder Terrick Thompson-Allen (Sioux, Iowa) scored from second and senior rightfielder Ren Tachioka (Japan) raced around the diamond from first when junior third baseman Ricardo Van Grieken (Venezuela) reached on a sacrifice bunt and throwing error. Van Grieken would come home to roost for the fourth run of the game and third of the frame on a sacrifice fly Emerich.
Little Rock would take its turn at the lead, 8-4, after posting a run in the bottom of the fifth and five in the bottom of the sixth. The Trojans scored all five of their runs in the sixth with two outs.
The Eagles flew back into the lead in the top of the seventh, 9-8, with a five-run frame of their own. Ebest started the rally with an RBI-single before sophomore second baseman Caleb Niehaus (Newburgh, Indiana) and junior leftfielder Adam Euler (Evansville, Indiana) forced in a run each with bases-loaded walks. Junior catcher Logan Mock (Livermore, California) finished the scored in the frame with a two-run single to right.
Little Rock bounced back once again to get the lead, 10-9, with a pair of tallies in the bottom of the seventh. The Trojans added to the lead with another run in the eighth to seal the 11-9 decision.
USI junior right-hander Peyton Brown (Clemmons, North Carolina) took the loss in relief. Brown (1-2) allowed three runs on four hits and one walk, while striking out three in two innings of work.
The Eagles started with junior right-hander Gavin Morris (Brazil, Indiana) on the bump. Morris threw the first 5.2 innings, allowing seven runs on 11 hits and a walk.