SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Evangel baseball team dropped a pair of one-run games on Monday against Heart South Division rival Baker.
The Crusaders faced an uphill battle early as Baker scored three runs in the second inning and added another in the third.
From there starter, Bret Hoffman settled in scattering eight hits over 5.2 innings pitched. Hoffman was charged with all six runs but earned a no-decision when Evangel rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game.
Harrison Stevens belted a bases-clearing triple down the left field line to tie the game at 6-6. Harold Alvarez and Jason Jarrell both walked before an RBI single from Rafael Rodriguez set up Stevens' 2-RBI triple.
However, the Wildcats would get a two-out double in the eighth inning before an error pushed the eventual game-winning run across for Baker.
The second game saw another pitchers' duel as Bryan Adames earned a tough-luck loss as he allowed just two hits over 5.2 innings. The lone run came in the first inning on a bases-loaded walk after Noah Suiter threw out a Baker runner at the plate.
Evangel did manage to out-hit Baker 4-2, but it was six walks that hurt the Crusaders in game two.
Adames struck out five and walked six before Levi Loughridge pitched the final 1.1 innings. Loughridge held Baker without a hit striking out two and walking two helping keep it a 1-run game.
Evangel had a chance in the bottom of the seventh when Mason Baur led off the inning with a single. A sacrifice bunt pushed Baur to second before Suiter singled to the left side. However, Baur over-ran third base and was tagged out to end the game.
Evangel and Baker finish a three-game series on Tuesday with a single nine-inning game starting at 1 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.