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Aces Eliminated from MVC Tournament Following Loss to Wichita State

May 22, 2014

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The University of Evansville baseball team was eliminated from the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, following an 8-6 loss to Wichita State Wednesday morning at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute, Ind.  The Purple Aces held the lead on two separate occasions, but the Shockers scored five runs over the final five innings to claim the victory.
A trio of Evansville (34-21) players each drove in two runs apiece, as junior Kyle Pollock and sophomore Shain Showers each delivered two-run homers as part of 2-for-4 outings.  Senior Jake Mahon also finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI that included a two-run single in the fifth.
Senior Cole Isom gave the Aces 6.2 strong innings on the mound, as he allowed six runs on eight hits and struck out three in his 101-pitch outing.  Fellow senior Sam Johns (2-3) took the loss by allowing two runs on three hits in the top of the ninth.
Daniel Kihle gave Wichita State (30-27) a 1-0 lead in the top of the second with an RBI single to left, before UE countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, when Showers homered to left center to score sophomore Eric McKibban and give Evansville a 2-1 advantage.
In the fourth, the Shockers regained the lead at 3-2, when Chase Simpson scored Casey Gillaspie with an RBI triple, before scampering home on a squeeze bunt off the bat of Kihle.
Evansville went back on top in its half of the fifth, when Mahon drove a hard grounder through the right side of the infield for a bases-loaded, two-run single to put the Aces in front, 4-3.  Showers and junior Jarod Perry started the rally with back-to-back one-out singles, before scoring on Mahon's hit.
WSU rallied in the seventh, when Erik Harbutz led off the frame with a single to left and Tanner Dearman drew a one-out walk to put runners on first and second.  After Isom retired Garrett Bayliff with a soft fly ball to left for the inning's second out, Dayne Parker tied the game with a line drive to left, bringing Brent Jurceka out of the UE bullpen.  Jurceka intentionally walked Gillaspie, before Simpson drove in two runs with double to center, putting Wichita State back in front, 6-4.
Evansville grabbed the momentum back in the bottom of the eighth, when Pollock snuck a fly ball over the wall in right center to drive in Mahon, who singled earlier in the inning, and tie the game at 6-6.
Johns came on for the Aces in the ninth, but surrendered back-to-back hits to start the inning, including Parker's two-run bomb over the wall in left that proved to be the game-winner for the Shockers.
Ray Ashford (2-3) earned the win for WSU by tossing 1.1 innings in relief, allowing just one base runner, when he hit Perry with a pitch in the bottom of the ninth.  Simpson led Wichita State offensively by going 4-for-5 with three RBI, while Parker finished 3-for-5 with three RBI of his own.
The loss drops the Aces to 34-21 on the season and they will now have to wait until Monday, May 26, when the NCAA Tournament field will be revealed at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU to see if their season will continue.

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