Sophomore outfielder Niko Hulsizer homered twice, including his second grand slam in as many games, and the Morehead State baseball team left the yard five times total Tuesday night in handing visiting West Virginia Tech a 19-6 defeat at Allen Field.
The Eagles moved to 26-11 overall and have now scored 79 runs in their last four games. MSU also moved its home winning streak to 18 games. Hulsizer, along with senior outfielders Will Schneider and Ryan Kent, and freshman catcher Brody Shoupe all clubbed round-trippers. The offense, which leads the nation in batting average, hits and on-base percentage, reached the 20-hit mark for the third straight game.
"We have a lot of guys playing well right now, and I guess that's a good problem to have," said head coach Mike McGuire. "The good thing about tonight was that we got some guys a lot of at-bats who haven't been in the everyday lineup, but they have stepped up when given their opportunities too."
Hulsizer, who leads the team with a 21-game reached-base streak, crushed his grand slam in the third inning when the Eagles broke open a 1-0 game to make it 5-0. He added a two-run double to the right field corner during a nine-run fourth inning and homered again to left field in the fifth. Shoupe, who just had his first career four-bagger on Saturday, tallied a three-run smash in the fourth, and Kent connected on his first homer of the season, a two-run job, in the fourth as well. Kent finished 4-for-4.
"Ryan Kent will have his name all over the record book when he is done, but he had struggled a bit, so some other guys stepped into what would be his spot, but we are definitely going to need him down the stretch, and he is such an important piece. Tonight was the Ryan Kent we have grown accustomed to over the years," McGuire added.
On the mound, freshman Jake Ziegelmeyer was credited with the win. He tossed the first three innings (on a pre-determined count) and only surrendered one hit. Five other Eagle hurlers (Luke Humphreys, Seth Boyle, Kyle Cantu, John Hurayt and Josh Baumgart) combined for nine strikeouts.
Morehead State travels to Austin Peay for a three-game league series this weekend. Game one is set for 7 p.m. ET Friday.