The Murray State baseball team used a four-run eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie and secured its second consecutive series victory Saturday afternoon at Reagan Field as the Racers rallied to defeat Eastern Kentucky, 8-4.
An Aaron Bence two-run single through the right side of the infield brought home a pair of runs with one out in the bottom half of the eighth and became the game-winning hit as he brought home Caleb Hicks and Davis Sims to score. Sims led off the inning with a double to left field while Hicks drew a one-out walk. MSU (24-23, 12-11 OVC) would tack on two more runs on a wild pitch that scored Jaron Robinson from third and on a passed ball that plated Bence.
Chad Gendron picked up his third win on the year as he pitched 1.1 innings of relief in the victory. Austin Dubsky got the start on the hill and pitched five innings and allowed two runs off six hits while striking out six. Chance Carner also appeared in relief in the game.
Sims led the Racer offense with a three-hit day at the plate while Bence went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs and Kipp Moore was also 2-of-4 at the dish.
The Colonels (22-25, 8-15 OVC) got on the board first in the game as they scored two in the top off the fourth on a single. MSU would rally to tie it at 2-2 however in the bottom of the fifth when Adam Bauer hit a two-run single to right field with two outs in the inning.
The Racers would later take the lead on an infield single from Moore in the sixth which made the score 3-2. MSU blew a chance however to do more damage in the inning as it had the bases loaded with nobody out and scored just the one run as EKU ended the threat with a double play.
EKU would retake the lead in the top of the seventh on a pair of runs in the inning. The first came on a triple to right center to tie the score at 3-3 and the second was the next at-bat with a sacrifice bunt, making the score 4-3. Bence would tie the score at 4-4 in the bottom half of the inning when he came home to score from third on a fielding error by the Colonels, attempting to throw out Bauer stealing second base.
MSU looks for its first series sweep of the season Sunday in the series finale with the Colonels. First pitch is at 1 p.m.
by Kevin DeVries