Grant Wood delivered a two-out double down the right field line, scoring two in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 9-9 tie as Murray State out-lasted Evansville in a marathon, 11-9 Wednesday at Reagan Field.
Caleb Hicks was able to come on with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth and struck out the final two batters for the Purple Aces (6-16) and recorded his first career save. The win improves MSU’s (15-14) record to 12-3 at home this season.
Wood led the Racers offensively going 4-for-5 at the plate, tying a career-high with those four hits and also notching two RBIs. Gavin Wehby also had a two-hit day, as he was 2-for-4 at the dish. CJ Bush, Mike Farnell and Davis Sims all scored twice in the victory, Sims drew a career-best four walks. UE out-hit the Racers 15-11 in the contest but had four errors to MSU’s three. The two teams combined to leave 29 stranded on the bases.
The Purple Aces scored first in the wild affair, on a sacrifice fly RBI to left field in the second. In the third, the Racers exploded with a seven-run inning and looked to grab complete control at 7-1 after three complete. Hicks delivered a double that hit off the left field wall two drive in two in the inning while Tyler Duke hit an RBI single as well. The other four runs came via walk or hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded.
However, UE was able to get three runs back in the top of the fourth, two of which were unearned off an MSU throwing error and it was 7-4 before the Racers got a run back in the bottom half of the inning, making the score 8-4.
After the two teams traded runs in the sixth, MSU led 9-5. In the top of the seventh, Evansville was able to score to cut the MSU lead to 9-6 and then scored three runs in the top of the eighth to tie the score at 9-9. The Racers committed a pair of errors in the inning that kept UE at the plate and led to a pair of unearned runs.
Brandon Gutzler, Farnell, Sims and Wehby all collected RBIs against the Purple Aces as well.
The two teams combined to use 15 pitchers in the contest. Tyler Anderson picked up the win for MSU and moved to 3-0 on the year. Braydon Cook got the start on the hill for the Racers and pitched three solid innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out two.
The Racers close their non-OVC week Friday as Harris-Stowe comes to Reagan Field for a 3 p.m. contest.
Media Relations Assistant (Baseball, Volleyball and Women’s Basketball)
Murray State University