Champions! Baseball Hits Six Home Runs, Wins First Outright OVC Regular Season Title since 1979
The Morehead State baseball team captured its first outright OVC Regular Season Championship since 1979 on Friday night behind six home runs -- including two from Ryley Preece, who became the first player in program history to hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bases in the same season.
Sophomore Will Grimmett (3-2) picked up the victory out of the bullpen for Morehead State (34-19, 16-7 OVC). The right-hander went 1.2 shutout innings while giving up one hit, allowing one walk and striking out two. John Bakke also made an impact on the mound for the Eagles, throwing one scoreless inning while allowing no hits, with no walks and two strikeouts, including the final out that clinched the title.
Preece went 4-for-6 at the plate, supplementing his two home runs with a double while driving in three runs. Nick Gooden added to Preece's awesome power-hitting performance by going 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI along with one walk. Jackson Feltner also helped out for the Eagles, going 3-for-5 with a home run, a walk and two RBI. Roman Kuntz went 3-5 with his fourth home run of the series as well.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Trailing 2-0, the Eagles first put runs on the board in the first inning. Morehead State's offense produced a three-run output that included home runs from both Preece and Gooden.
The Trojans failed to push any runs across before the Eagles offense got back to their scoring ways the next inning. Morehead State picked up a run on Jacob Ferry's leadoff home run off of Camden Sargent, which brought the Eagles lead to 4-2.
Morehead State's lead had disappeared by the time the third inning came around and turned into a 5-4 Little Rock advantage, when the Eagles re-gained control at 12-5. The Eagles hit two home runs in the inning on the way to scoring eight runs.
The Trojans gained ground, closing the gap to 12-7 until Morehead State added some insurance in the seventh. The Eagles pushed across a run when Carter Owens drew a walk that scored junior Roman Kuntz, bringing the score to 13-7 in favor of Morehead State.
Little Rock got within 13-10 until the Eagles scored again in the eighth inning to stretch its lead to 14-10. Morehead State picked up a run on Preece's one-out solo home run off of sophomore Lukas Frers. The score remained 14-10 for the rest of the game, as the Eagles coasted to the win.
» The Eagles got two home runs off the bat of Preece.
» Preece collected four hits on the day for Morehead State.
» Gooden drove in four runs for Morehead State.
» Every Morehead State starter reached base safely in the win.
» Morehead State's highest scoring inning was the third, when it pushed eight runs across.
» Morehead State grabbed the lead at 12-5 in the bottom half of the third and never lost that advantage.
» Five Eagles had multiple hits in the ballgame.
» Morehead State hitters hit six homers in the ballgame.
» The Eagles out-hit the Trojans at a 17-15 clip.
» Morehead State went 5-for-14 (.357) with runners in scoring position.
» The Eagles got five hits in 10 at-bats with the bases loaded.
» Morehead State pitchers faced 46 Little Rock hitters in the game, allowing six ground balls and seven fly balls while striking out 11.
» The Eagles drew six walks from Little Rock pitching.
» Preece led the Eagles at the plate, going 4-for-6 with a double, two home runs and three RBI.