Recording double-digit runs for the second time this series, the University of Evansville baseball team captured a 12-9 victory in game two of Saturday's doubleheader, grabbing a split of the twin bill with Valparaiso at Emory G. Field Stadium in Valparaiso, Ind.
"Taking the first two of three games in the series puts us in great position tomorrow with Caleb Reinhardt on the mound," said Aces head baseball coach Wes Carroll. " In game one, pitchers for Valpo did a great job keeping our hitters off balance. Really proud of our offensive adjustment in game two against a very talented arm. Simon Scherry had a big game and three home runs provided us enough to hold on."
Game One: Valparaiso 5, Evansville 1
After an impressive first two innings from starting pitcher Donovan Schultz, Evansville ran into trouble in the third inning. Following a pair of walks, Valpo recorded two base hits that scored three runs and handed the home side a 3-0 advantage.
It was Jonathan Temple who added two more runs in the fifth and sixth, recording a solo home run to left center in the fifth, followed by an RBI double down the left field line as Valpo saw its lead bolstered to 5-0.
The Aces attempted to fuel a late comeback as Evansville got on the board in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Troy Beilsmith scored Danny Borgstrom, trimming Valpo's lead to four at 5-1. Evansville would not be able to draw any closer in the seventh as Valpo captured the 5-1 win in the day's doubleheader opener.
Game Two: Evansville 12, Valparaiso 9
Evansville's offense got going early in game two. The Aces scored first on an RBI base hit by Eric Roberts that scored Simon Scherry. Later in the inning with the bases loaded. Kenton Crews took a walk, scoring Widder as Evansville led 2-0 after the first.
Two solo home runs in the bottom half of the second helped Valpo tie the game at two as the home side held the game at a tie until the fifth.
The fifth inning was the beginning of Evansville's offensive explosion. The Aces went back in front with an RBI single by Troy Beilsmith, scoring Widder for the second time on the day. Mark Shallenberger followed the redshirt senior with a two-run shot down the left-field line, followed by a solo home run by Tanner Craig to close the inning with a 6-2 Evansville lead.
Evansville starter Jake McMahill turned in another strong effort on the mound for the Aces in the second game of the doubleheader, pitching six innings, allowing just two earned runs.
Four more runs came across for Evansville in the sixth with Scherry, Beilsmith, and Roberts each driving in runs as the Aces saw their lead blossom to eight runs at 10-2. One inning later, Evansville gained a nine-run advantage as Danny Borgstrom belted a solo shot to center.
Valpo began to battle back in the bottom of the eighth, scoring five runs to chip the Aces lead down to 11-7. After Scherry ripped a double down the line to give Evansville 12 runs on the afternoon, Valpo found itself down to its last three outs.
After the bases were loaded, Valpo walked in a run to get back within four runs. A key moment unfolded in the next at bat as Valpo had the bases loaded with no outs. Evansville closer Jakob Meyer got Temple to ground into a double play and kept the momentum rolling with a fly out to end the threat and secure a 12-9 win for the Aces.
Evansville and Valpo will close-out their series with a final game at 1 PM on Sunday at Emory G. Bauer Field in Valparaiso, Ind.