With a pair of victories Friday over three-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Southeast Missouri, the Morehead State baseball team completed a three-game sweep of the Redhawks to open league play.
The Eagles defeated SEMO 17-5 in game one and held on a 3-2 triumph in the nightcap.
Morehead State, which has won six straight games now, improved to 11-5 overall and 3-0 in the league. The Redhawks were swept by a conference team for the first time since 2013, and MSU claimed its first sweep over SEMO since 2009. SEMO is now 6-7 overall.
After winning the opener, Morehead State clinched its 13th consecutive series win at home since 2015, and the Eagles are now 40-11 at Allen Field in the last three seasons.
Senior outfielder Michael Patrick, who moved into the two-spot in the batting order, led the charge today by going 5-for-9 with two home runs (both in the opener) and four RBI. He collected 11 total bases. Juniors Eli Boggess (first game) and Tyler Niemann (second game) also homered, while sophomore shortstop Reid Leonard nailed three doubles. The Eagles had 11 extra-base hits in the twinbill.
After pounding 16 hits and scoring in six of their eight at-bats in the opener, the Eagles won a pitcher's duel with high drama in game two.
Morehead State took a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth, looking to secure a shutout over an OVC opponent at Allen Field for the second straight season. MSU starter Curtis Wilson, who had his longest career outing (8.2 innings) gave way to senior lefty Cable Wright with two outs and two runners on. SEMO shortstop Connor Basler proceeded to single home a run, and then Clayton Evans drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the Eagles lead to 3-2.
Dan Holst then sliced a screaming liner into the left field corner, but MSU sophomore Niko Hulsizer made a sliding catch inches from the line after a 40-yard sprint to seal the win on a ball that maybe would have cleared the bases.
Wilson (2-1) was credited with win, being charged with both runs but coming up with four punchouts. Wright, who made his NCAA active-player leading 94th career appearance, picked up his third save in 2017.
The Eagles took their 3-0 advantage on a Leonard RBI double in the fifth, Niemann's solo shot in the seventh and senior centerfielder Ryan Kent scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh. Clay Chandler struck out eight batters for the Redhawks but was saddled with the loss to fall to 2-2.
In the first game, Patrick, Leonard and junior second baseman Braxton Morris had three hits apiece, and Boggess cranked his first career homer, a three-run job, in the fifth to distance his team to a 9-3 cushion. Patrick tattoed a three-run homer in the seventh that pushed the Eagles' lead to 15-3.
Junior lefty Aaron Leasher improved to 3-0 after scattering eight hits and surrendering three runs. Junior righty David Calderon notched his second save of the season (both 3-plus inning varieties) as he did not allow an earned run in the final four SEMO at-bats.
Morehead State is scheduled to travel to Big 12 opponent West Virginia on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. ET game. Check MSUEagles.com for schedule updates.