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Evansville Topples No. 4 Vanderbilt, 8-3

February 27, 2014


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The University of Evansville baseball team grabbed an early lead and never looked back, as the Purple Aces upset No. 4 Vanderbilt, 8-3, Wednesday evening at Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn.
Evansville (4-3) scored early and often against Vanderbilt (7-2) starter TJ Pecoraro (0-1), plating three runs in each of the first two innings to take a 6-0 advantage, and the Aces' bullpen stranded nine Commodore base runners over the final seven innings to secure the win.
Junior Kevin Kaczmarski was one of three UE hitters to finish with multiple RBI, as he went 1-for-3 and drove in three runs, while junior Boomer Synek and sophomore Josh Jyawook drove in two runs apiece.  Senior Jake Mahon bolstered the Evansville offense by going 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
 Mahon led off the game by getting hit by a pitch, Jyawook followed by drawing a walk and junior Kyle Pollock singled through the left side, before Kaczmarski cleared the bases with a triple to the gap in right center, putting the Aces up, 3-0.
In the second, junior Jarod Perry started the inning with a bunt single and moved to third on a double down the right field line off the bat of Mahon.  Jyawook then came through with a two-run single up the middle, before Pecoraro was pulled after walking Pollock.  Commodore reliever John Kilichowski then proceeded to issue back-to-back walks to Kaczmarski and Synek to extend UE's lead to 6-0.
VU broke through by scoring two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the margin to 6-2, as Ro Coleman started the two-out rally by getting hit with a pitch.  Dansby Swanson moved Coleman into scoring position with a single, before Nolan Rogers looped a double into left, driving in both runs.
Evansville's offense went quiet with Kilichowski on the mound, as he allowed just four base runners on a hit and four walks in hits 5.2 innings of relief, notching seven strikeouts.  However, the Aces' bullpen was able to work out of jams and hold Vanderbilt to just one run over the final six frames.
Sophomore Brent Jurceka provided one of the key stops in the bottom of the seventh, as he inherited a pair of base runners with no outs, but worked around a walk and out of the jam to keep the Commodores off the board.  The sophomore righty entered the game and struck out Rogers, before loading the bases by walking Zander Wiel.  Jurceka then got Rhett Wiseman to line out and fanned Xavier Turner to keep the bases full.
Evansville added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth by taking advantage of a pair of hit batters and a walk, and senior Sam Johns retired VU in order in the bottom of the frame to complete the upset.
Junior Matt Rodgers (2-0) did not allow a hit and struck out three to earn the victory on the mound and was one of eight pitchers used by UE. 
Evansville will be at home for the first time this season, when it opens a three-game home stand with visiting Western Illinois Friday at 3 p.m. at Braun Stadium.

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