Ben Fisher launched his NCAA leading 24th home run, but it was not enough as the Eastern Kentucky University baseball team dropped its series opener against the Southeast Missouri University Redhawks, 14-6, at Capaha Park on Friday night. .
The Colonels (24-30, 10-18 OVC) drew first blood in the top of the first after singles from Shea Sullivan and Alex Holderbach set up Nick Howie to drive in a run on a single hit to left field, giving EKU a 1-0.
SEMO (26-24, 14-14 OVC) responded with a six-run bottom of the first that was kick started by a two-run homer from Tristen Gagan and capped off with a two-RBI single from Dan Holst, putting Eastern in a 6-1 hole after the first inning.
Two and a half scoreless innings gave way to the bottom of the fourth where Southeast Missouri added to its lead. Danny Wright started the scoring with a RBI single to left field. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded, Holst sent a ball over the wall in right center to make it 11-1 SEMO at the end of the fourth.
EKU started chipping away at the deficit with a Fisher two-run blast to right center. The senior’s 24th home run of the season cut the SEMO lead back to single digits, making it 11-3 heading to the bottom of the fifth.
Eastern kept the Redhawks scoreless through the bottom of the fifth, and went back to work in the top of the sixth. Brenden Overton led off the inning with a single through the left side, and then stole second. After a Logan Starnes single put runners on first and third, a Daniel McFarland bunt single brought Overton home. Cornell Nixon reached on a fielder’s choice in the next at-bat to put runners on first and third. Sullivan proceeded to single through the right side to plate Starnes and move Nixon to third. Finally, a single up the right side from Fisher brought Nixon home and put EKU within striking distance heading to the bottom of the sixth down 11-6.
The Redhawks extended their lead in the bottom of the seventh with a three-run homer from Gagan, his second of the night. EKU did not have an answer after that, falling by a score of 14-6.
Fisher led the way for Eastern with two hits and three RBIs. Sullivan finished with three hits and one RBI. McFarland and Howie each had two runs and one RBI, and Starnes had two hits.
The Colonels return to action on Friday for game two of the series with the Redhawks. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
— www.EKUSports.com —
EKUSports Communications Intern