An impressive day by freshman Simon Scherry at the plate and a dominant set of early innings from senior Nathan Croner helped the University of Evansville baseball team earn an 8-5 win over NIU in Saturday's second game of the series at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.
"Such a great win to feed off of the comeback last night," remarked Aces head baseball coach Wes Carroll on Evansville building momentum off a come-from-behind 5-4 win on Friday night. "It started on the mound with (Nathan) Croner who was outstanding. We have been looking for offense, so to get two big hits that led to 5 RBI from Simon Scherry is a big lift. The bullpen did a great job with (Jakob) Meyer closing the door."
Croner indeed had an outstanding outing and it began in the first inning as the senior lefty struck-out the side, sitting down the Huskies in order. Evansville's offense got rolling in the bottom of the first with two outs. The Aces loaded the bases and with Scherry at the plate, the freshman delivered a double to right center that cleared the bases and gave Evansville a 3-0 lead.
The top of the second closely resembled the first as Croner again struck-out the side, giving the Independence, Mo. native six-straight Ks to begin the game.
The Aces got further help offensively in the bottom of the fourth as redshirt senior Troy Beilsmith launched the 16th home run of his career, this time a two-run shot that provided UE with a 5-0 advantage.
NIU pushed back to within two runs in the top of the fifth as the Huskies scored a pair of runs on an error and later added a run on a sacrifice fly.
It was Scherry again who keyed the Evansville offense with the bases loaded. Scherry drilled a double to left center that scored a pair of runs to push the Aces lead back to four at 7-3. Later in the fifth, freshman Max Malley hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored junior Mason Brinkley to give the Aces an 8-3 lead.
In the sixth inning, NIU got a big boost from Kam Smith, who squeezed a two-run homer down the left field line to trim Evansville's lead to 8-5.
NIU threatened late in the eighth inning, as the Huskies had runners on first and second with just one out. Freshman Jakob Meyer got the Aces out of the inning with a fly-out to right field and struck-out Jacob Schroeder to close the inning.
In the ninth, Meyer again worked well, limiting the Huskies to just one base runner before inducing a fly-out to right to end the contest.
The Aces and Huskies close their series on Sunday at 1 PM at German American Bank Field at Charles H. Braun Stadium in Evansville.