Story by Kelly Diesel, Staff Writer
The Murray State baseball team completed their first sweep of the Evansville Purple Aces since 1958 with their 8-1 and 5-4 victories over the Purple Aces in Paducah, Kentucky.
Murray State came away with an 8-1 victory on Tuesday in the first game of a two-game series against the University of Evansville at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, Kentucky.
Senior pitcher Jack Hranec got the start for the Racers and pitched 6.1 innings, giving up just one run on five hits and striking out eight of the 24 batters faced.
After going scoreless in the first five innings, junior outfielder Brandon Gutzler got the Racers on the board first with a solo home run to left-center field. Gutzler’s has 10 home runs and 49 RBIs on the year.
Later in the sixth inning, junior infielder Caleb Hicks hit an RBI single to right field, scoring senior catcher Tyler Lawrence. Hicks’ RBI single was followed by an RBI single up the middle from sophomore infielder Jaron Robinson, scoring junior infielder Kipp Moore and putting the Racers up 3-0.
Evansville responded in the top of the seventh with a solo home run to right field from junior catcher Travis Tokarek.
Murray State scored again in the bottom of the seventh off an RBI double from Lawrence that scored Gutzler from second, making it a 4-1 game.
The Racers added four runs in the bottom of the eighth, starting with a solo home run to left field from freshman infielder Davis Sims. Later in the eighth, with the bases loaded, senior outfielder Aaron Bence hit an RBI sacrifice fly to center field.
Gutzler followed Bence with a two-run RBI single to center field and gave the Racers a 8-1 lead. Murray State kept the lead until the final out.
On Wednesday, Murray State competed in the second game of their two-game series against Evansville in Evansville, Indiana.
Freshman pitcher Trevor McMurray started the game for the Racers and pitched 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on four hits, five strikeouts and four walks on 22 batters faced.
The Purple Aces got on the board first with a solo home run to left field from junior outfielder Korbin Williams in the bottom of the first inning.
The Racers battled back in the top of the third inning with a sacrifice fly from Gutzler that scored Bence. Later in the third, Hranec reached base on an error that scored Lawrence, making it a 2-1 game in favor of the Racers.
Evansville responded with an RBI double from Tokarek, scoring senior infielder Trey Hair and tying the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third.
The Purple Aces added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with junior catcher Andrew Tanous grounding into a fielder’s choice RBI and Tokarek hitting an RBI sacrifice fly to left field.
Murray State scored another run in the top of the sixth inning with senior outfielder Adam Bauer hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to make it a 4-3 game.
The Racers tied the game in the top of the seventh with a throwing error by Evansville’s Tanous, scoring Moore from second.
In the top of the ninth inning, Hicks hit an RBI single that scored Lawrence from second base to give the Racers a 5-4 victory.
Murray State will play again at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 28 in Nashville, Tennessee, where they are set to take on Belmont University in a three-game series.