RICHMOND, Ky. – The Eastern Kentucky University baseball team exploded for six runs in the bottom of the second inning, five of them with two outs, and then cruised the rest of the way as junior left-hander Shane Grimm tossed the Colonels’ second consecutive complete game in an 8-2 win over SIUE on Saturday afternoon in game two of this weekend’s Ohio Valley Conference series at Turkey Hughes Field.
With the series win, EKU improves to 11-15 (3-2 OVC). The loss drops SIUE to 13-13 (2-3 OVC).
Grimm (3-4) matched senior right-hander Matt Harris’s feat from one day earlier by going the distance and allowing just two runs on five hits while striking out seven batters to earn his second consecutive conference win.
Right-hander Josh Hoguet (1-5) picked up the loss for SIUE, pitching seven innings and surrendering all eight Colonel runs on nine hits while fanning four batters.
Senior Richie Rodriguez, juniors Austin Grisham and Alex Hughes and Sophomore Sean Hagen all collected two hits on the afternoon. Grisham drove in a team-high three runs, while Rodriguez scored a pair of runs.
Joel Greatting and Zach Hawkins drove in the Cougars’ runs while Travis Becherer scored both of them.
After sophomore Bryan Soloman grounded out to open the bottom of the second, Hughes got behind in the count 1-2 before crushing his second home run of the season to right center to put the Colonels’ on the board. Senior Michael Garcia followed that up with a double to right center, but was promptly picked off for the second out of the inning. Senior A.J. Jamison, however, kept things alive with a double into the right center gap, and the next batter, senior Dustin Dunlop, walked, setting the stage for Hagen, who ripped a base hit into left field that scored Jamison and put Dunlop on second.
The inning was not over, though, as Rodriguez laced a base hit up the middle that plated Dunlop and moved Hagen to third, and Grisham crushed his first triple of the season off the wall in right field that cleared the bases and made it 5-0. Grisham, himself, then concluded the big inning by scoring on a wild pitch to give the Colonels a comfortable 6-0 lead.
With that lead, Grimm mowed through the SIUE lineup, allowing an RBI double to Hawkins in the top of the fourth and an RBI groundout by Greatting in top of the sixth, but maintaining his composure and control throughout the game.
RBI singles by Grisham in the bottom of the fourth and Hagen in the bottom of the eighth merely served to pad the Colonels’ lead.
The win is EKU’s fourth straight. The Colonels will now go for the sweep of the Cougars tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. at Turkey Hughes Field.