Late rally can’t stop Aces from weekend sweep at Missouri State


Despite matching Missouri State hit for hit, the University of Evansville baseball team came out on the wrong end of an 11-4 decision in their series finale on a frosty Sunday afternoon at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo.

“The hits-to-runs ratio was a problem all game for us”, said University of Evansville head coach Wes Carroll. “Eleven runs on eleven hits is a tough stat for our offense to come back from.”

With a shortage of starting pitching, the Purple Aces pressed senior right hand reliever Dalton Horstmeier into service. Horstmeier got himself in and out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of first inning unscathed. However, the second inning was another matter, as a lead-off walk, followed by a hit batter, then a sacrifice put runner in scoring position with one out. Then, MSU’sJeremy Eierman snuck a single through the left side of the infield, plating a pair, putting the Bears up 2-0 in the second.

Horstmeier would escape the inning without any more damage. However, in the fourth inning, Missouri State would erupt again, putting the first two runners aboard on a single and a walk to open the frame. That would end Horstmeier’s day, as Evansville turned to sophomore left hand reliever Nathan Croner to put out the fire. Instead, Jeremy Eierman would bring in one run on a fielder’s choice. Then, John Privitera would steal home, pushing the MSU lead to 4-0. Matt Brown capped the three-run frame for the Bears with an RBI single to the gap in left-center, putting the Aces in a 5-0 hole.

Senior right hander Ryan Brady would take over for Croner in the fifth inning, and he managed to strike out the side. However, in between Missouri State loaded up the bases on him, and Drew Millas unloaded them on a bases-clearing double down the left field line. The Bears would go onto build a 9-0 lead.

The Aces staged a late inning rally, first breaking through on the scoreboard on back to back RBI singles from sophomore shortstop Craig Shepherd and senior third baseman Stewart Nelson, cutting the Missouri State lead to seven.

The Bears would get those two tallies back, but Evansville continued to battle in the final frame, as a slow chopper to shortstop by junior pinch hitter Jordan McDonough resulted in a run-scoring error on an errant throw to first, plating freshman outfielder Evan Aders. Then, sophomore outfielder Troy Beilsmith lifted a sacrifice fly to left, bringing in Craig Shepherd, cutting the deficit to seven. However, the Aces could draw no closer, falling 11-4.

The loss drops UE to 6-19 on the season and 0-3 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while Missouri State improves to 22-7 and 5-1 in the MVC.

The Aces are back in action Tuesday night at home against out-of-conference Murray State.