SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The offense for the Evangel baseball team exploded for a non-conference doubleheader sweep Thursday against Graceland 8-7 in game one and 19-11 in game two.
Evangel jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the first inning and extended its lead to 4-1 in the third inning on a 2-run home run to right. Vargas finished with three RBIs and a run scored in the comeback win.
The excitement built in the top of the sixth when Graceland scored five runs and took a 7-6 lead that was aided by three Evangel errors. However, the Crusaders responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead.
Bret Hoffman earned the no-decision going five innings and scattering six hits with four strikeouts. Hoffman walked just one before Zach Johnston took over in the sixth. Tyler Collison entered for the final 1.1 innings to help shut the door and earn his first victory of the season.
The offense exploded in game two as Evangel and Graceland combined for 29 hits and 30 runs. Evangel scored 13 runs in the bottom of the third with 11 hits that were highlighted by a pair of home runs from Josiah Steen and a grand slam from Harrison Stevens.
Stevens led the way going 3 for 4 with six RBIs and three runs scored while Steen added five RBIs.
Bryan Adames went three innings in the start where he finished with four strikeouts but allowed eight runs, seven of which were earned. Levi Loughridge tossed the final four innings for the win as he struck out seven and scattered four hits.
Evangel heads south to Williams Baptist on Saturday for a double-header in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, follow the Crusaders on Facebook at Facebook.com/EUAthletics or go to www.EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on the team by downloading the Go Evangel Front Row App at EvangelAthletics.com/FrontRow available on Google Play and in the App Store.