Belmont Rallies in Ninth to Top Evansville, 11-7
May 8, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville baseball team led visiting Belmont, 6-4, heading into the top of the ninth, but the Bruins rallied for seven runs in the frame and went on to defeat the Purple Aces, 11-7, Wednesday night in non-conference play at Braun Stadium.
Evansville (30-17) was led by junior Boomer Synek, who finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored as the Aces' leadoff batter and fellow junior Kevin Kaczmarski drove in three runs with a three-run triple as part of a 1-for-5 night. Sophomore Shain Showers added two hits in three at bats and sophomore Jonathan Ramon drove in a pair of runs and scored another.
UE used seven different pitchers in the loss, as freshman Jimmy Ward, sophomore Alex Gould and sophomore Brent Jurceka combined to hurl 4.2 scoreless innings in the middle part of the game. Jurceka led the club with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings, as he allowed just two hits and issued one walk. Senior closer Sam Johns (2-1) suffered the loss, after allowing six runs, four earned, on five hits in just 0.2 innings.
Belmont (20-27-1) scored the first four runs of the evening, putting up two apiece in both the first and third innings. Alec Diamond drew a walk to lead off the game and Drew Ferguson followed with a single, before both scored on a potential double play ball that was misplayed off the bat of Jamie Ritchie. BU added two more on yet another Evansville error in the third and Ritchie sacrifice fly to take a 4-0 advantage.
The Aces got on the board in the bottom of the fourth, after junior Kyle Pollock reached on an error to start the inning and later scored on an RBI double from Ramon. Sophomore Eric McKibban drove in Ramon with an RBI ground out later in the inning to trim Belmont's lead to 4-2.
UE grabbed the lead in its half of the fifth, as the first three Evansville hitters reached base in the frame, before Kaczmarski cleared the bags with a triple off the wall in right center, putting the Aces in front 5-4. Ramon capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI ground out and UE would lead 6-4 after five.
Evansville would maintain its 6-4 advantage, until the top of the ninth, when the Bruins exploded for seven runs on six hits and took advantage of an Aces' fielding miscue. With one out in the inning, BU scored four of its runs on four-straight hits and a UE error to go ahead, 8-4, before Matt Kinney drove in three more runs with a three-run double down the left field line to extend Belmont's lead to 11-6.
Evansville would add a run in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score 11-7.
Drew Ferguson led Belmont's offense by going 5-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored, while Kinney finished 2-for-2 with three RBI, after being inserted as a defensive replacement in the sixth. Christopher Carroll (5-2) earned the win on the mound for the Bruins, as he walked three in 2.0 hitless innings of relief.
The Aces will return to action this weekend, when they host Illinois State for a pivotal Missouri Valley Conference series at Braun Stadium beginning Friday night at 6 p.m. UE will enter the three-game set with a one-game lead over the Redbirds in the MVC standings.