Story by Mark McFarland, Assistant Sports Editor
The Racer baseball took two out of three games last weekend against Eastern Illinois.
The Racers were led by outfield graduate student Tyler Dixon, who went 7-14 with five home runs and seven RBIs. Head Coach Kevin Moulder said with the injuries Dixon has stepped up and helped the Racers come away with two wins.
“He had a good week,” Moulder said. “He’s filling in for an injured guy and he recently has done a good job. He’s stepped up and in recent games, he’s made the most of the opportunities, getting a chance to run with the job at this point.”
Dixon earned multiple accolades including the ADIDAS OVC Player of the Week and Colligate Baseball News/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his contributions last week. Between the three games against Eastern Illinois and the one game against Kentucky State, he finished 11-19 with 11 RBIs, five home runs and four doubles.
EIU GAME ONE
In game one, the Racers won 9-4, outhitting the Panthers 12-8, and committed zero errors.
Murray State was led by junior catcher Tyler Lawrence and junior outfielder and infielder Adam Bauer, who finished a combined 6-9 and two RBIs. Sophomore infielder Caleb Hicks finished the game going 1-3 with two RBIs, one walk and one strikeout.
Junior left-handed pitcher and first baseman Jack Hranec pitched five innings, giving up seven hits and four runs to earn the win for the Racers.
EIU GAME TWO
Murray State tied a school record in the 31-11 win over Eastern Illinois, the record has not been tied or broken since 1950, when it was set in a game against Lipscomb.
The Racers jumped out to an early 20-1 lead in the first four innings before the Panthers scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Dixon contributed with four home runs, six RBIs and finished the game 5-6. The four home runs in the game tied an OVC record for most home runs in a game. Dixon said he was glad he was able to step up and contribute to the team and that the record just comes secondary.
“I just want to keep it simple at the plate,” Dixon said. “Not try to overdo things and try to see good pitches and hit the good ones.”
EIU GAME THREE
The Panthers came back and won the third game 9-3 after the Racers took the first two games by a combined score 40-14.
Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Dills gave up four runs in seven innings, while recording 10 strikeouts in the losing effort. Offensively, the Racers were led by Hicks as he went 1-2 with two walks and a stolen base. The Racers were outhit 12-7 in the game. Moulder said it was good to take two out of three games, but he said he feels they should have taken all three.
“We had a good first couple days,” Moulder said. “We swang the bat and did a good job pretty much across the board. Today, we came out you’ve got a lack of maturity, you’ve got a young group and still figuring out what it takes to be winners.”
One year after winning the OVC, Southeast Missouri State continues to lead the conference. The Redhawks are 21-8 overall with a 12-0 record inside of the conference. Jacksonville State, 9-0 in the conference, will play the Racers this weekend in Jacksonville, Alabama. The Gamecocks are 19-9 overall and have posted an 11-4 record when they are playing at home.
Austin Peay State follows the Gamecocks in the OVC standings with an 8-4 conference record. The Governors swept the Racers March 24-26, winning every game by four or more runs.