UE Baseball Wins Marathon Pitcher's Duel in 14th
March 1, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
EVANSVILLE BASEBALL RELEASE
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – After 13 scoreless innings, the University of Evansville finally prevailed in the bottom of the 14th, when sophomore Josh Jyawook drew a bases-loaded, walk-off walk to give the Purple Aces a 1-0 win over visiting Western Illinois Friday night at Braun Stadium.
Only two Evansville (5-3) players were able to record multiple hits in the 14-inning affair, as sophomore Shain Showers went 2-for-5 and scored the lone run of the night, while junior Jarod Perry finished 2-for-5 with a walk. Senior Jake Mahon went hitless in four at bats, but drew three walks atop the UE lineup.
A trio of Evansville pitchers limited Western Illinois (0-5) to just three hits on the night and racked up 15 strikeouts without walking a single Leatherneck. Junior lefty Kyle Freeland turned in a stellar start for the Aces, as he allowed just two hits over 9.0 innings and recorded nine strikeouts. Sophomore Brent Jurceka allowed just one hit and struck out five over 3.0 scoreless frames and senior Sam Johns (1-0) picked up the win by retiring all six batters he faced over the final 2.0 innings.
UE stranded 15 base runners on the night, including two in the bottom of the first inning, when WIU starter Aaron Michel pitched around a hit batter and an error to leave a pair of Evansville runners on the corners.
The Aces also put a pair of runners on the base paths in their half of the fifth, when Perry laid down a two-out, bunt single and Mahon followed with a walk, but Michel once again came through for Western Illinois, ending the threat with a fly out.
Freeland took a no hitter into the seventh, before Neil DeCook ended the no-hit bid with a hard grounder the slipped under the glove of Mahon at third base and into shallow left field. DeCook then stole second to give WIU its first runner in scoring position, but he was erased after leaving early on a fly ball to right that resulted in a double play, after a UE appeal at second.
In the ninth, Evansville once again put runners on the corners with two outs, after getting hits from Synek and Showers, but Western Illinois reliever Tyler Owings was able to collect a hard ground ball off the bat of Devin Williams and flip it to first for the final out of the frame.
Jurceka and Johns limited the Leathernecks to just two base runners over the final 6.0 innings and UE finally came through in the bottom of the 14th to post the victory.
Showers started the inning with a leadoff double down the left field line and advanced to third following a sacrifice bunt from Williams. WIU then elected to load the bases by intentionally walking both Perry and Mahon, before Jyawook took ball four on a 3-1 pitch to collect the game-winning RBI.
Evansville and Western Illinois will continue the four-game with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. tomorrow afternoon at Braun Stadium.