SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Evangel baseball team rallied to defeat Park in game one of the double header, but the Crusaders' rally fell short in game two as they split the series with the Pirates.
The Crusaders saw themselves in a big hole early in the game, when they gave up one run in the first inning and then seven runs off three home runs in the third. However, they started to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the third when Preston Allmand doubled to bring in pinch runner Stephen Belcher. Then Allmand scored after an RBI groundout by Jordan Yates. Mason Baur doubled to bring in Gaul from third.
The Pirates added another run in the top of the fourth, the Crusader bats came to life in the fifth and sixth innings, when they scored five runs in each frame. Harold Alvarez doubled to lead off the fifth and then Noah Suiter hit a two-run blast. Then Jason Jarrell was hit by a pitch and lifted for pinch runner Belcher. Allmand doubled to move Belcher to third and then Patrick Gaul hit a single to bring Belcher home. The final run of the inning came from the bat of Jose Vargas who singled to bring home Gaul.
In the sixth inning, Harrison Stevens hit a three-run bomb to score Belcher and Gaul. Then Andrew Edwards was walked and Baur doubled to put runners on second and third. Finally, Vargas tripled to score Edwards and Baur and give the Crusaders a 13-9 lead.
The Pirates had a rally in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs, but ultimately their rally would fall short.
Baur and Allmand were 2-3 in the game, both with two doubles.
Ben Loge (SP) pitched 2.2 innings, giving up seven runs off five hits, with three strikeouts and two walks.
Levi Loughridge was credited with the win and pitched 2.2 innings, giving up three runs off two hits, and walking one.
The Crusaders again found themselves in an early hole as they gave up three runs in the first, two in the second and five in the third. The Crusaders got a run back in the first after Stevens scored on a sac fly from Baur. Evangel plated four runs in the third after Gaul scored from Stevens' sac pop-fly. Then Alvarez hit a three-run dinger to score Baur and Vargas.
The Crusaders also scored three runs in the fourth. Allmand scored off Stevens' RBI single. Pinch runner Belcher scored after Vargas was walked with the bases-loaded. Then Stevens scored after Alvarez was also walked with the bases-loaded.
The Pirates would then go on to score two runs in the fifth, three runs in the sixth, and one in the top of the seventh to take a 16-8 lead. The Crusaders would mount a late rally in the bottom of the seventh, with Stevens doubling to score pinch runner Nathan Lamb and Gaul. Unfortunately, that was all the Crusaders could get before the final out.
Stevens was 3-4 in the game with a double and 3 RBI.
Austin Dill pitched 1.0 innings giving up five runs off six hits, striking out one and walking four. Collin Irvine pitched 1.2 innings giving up five runs off four hits, striking out two and walking one. Tyler Collison pitched 1.2 innings, giving up two runs off two hits, striking out one and walking two. Hunter Hancock pitched 1.1 innings, giving up one run off one hit, striking out two and walking two. Keaton Winfrey pitched 1/3 of an inning, striking out one and walking one.
Evangel will host Culver-Stockton for Senior Day on Friday, April 19 in a double-header action starting at 1 p.m. at Crusader Field.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.