For the third consecutive game, junior designated hitter Jon Burghardt provided a momentum-shifting home run, and senior left-hander David Looney held Murray State in check for three-plus innings Saturday as the Morehead State baseball team toppled the Racers 7-5 at Allen Field.
The Eagles improved to 31-17 overall, the best record in the Ohio Valley Conference, and to 14-9 in league action, now one game ahead of the Racers (19-24/13-10).
With his team holding a slim 4-2 cushion in the fifth inning, Burghardt slammed a one-out, three-run homer to right field for what ended up being the deciding margin as the Racers scored three in the sixth. He now has seven RBI in the past three games, all on round-trippers.
Meanwhile, Looney relieved starter Jason Goe in the sixth and proceeded to toss 3.1 frames while only surrendering two hits and striking out four. Goe (5-2), who was still credited with the win, had only given up four hits and two runs in the first five frames before allowing four straight hits - including a two-run homer - in the sixth stanza.
"Jason had pitched well, I have no problems with his effort, but he just hit a wall a bit in the sixth," said head coach Mike McGuire. "We haven't been in those situations a lot (ahead 7-2) this year and I guess it kind of got the best of him, but David came in like he has all year and threw mostly strikes and got us some big outs."
Sophomore lefty Cory Conway came on in the top of the ninth and allowed just a bloop single to left field before getting the final out on a strikeout for his second save in 2019.
Tied 1-1 in the third, Morehead State bounced ahead 3-1 on RBI singles from sophomore infielder Stephen Hill and junior infielder Dom Peroni. Following an RBI single by the Racers, senior first baseman Trevor Snyder's fielder's choice grounder up the middle scored senior catcher Hunter Fain with the fourth tally in the fifth inning, setting the stage for Burghardt's bomb.
Of the offense's 12 hits, Hill registered three to extend his reached-base streak to 23 games. Fain, senior left-fielder Jake Hammon and senior center-fielder Connor Pauly had two hits each.
Jake Slunder, Brock Anderson and Jordan Holly had two hits apiece for Murray State, while Ryan Perkins and Jordan Cozart nailed home runs.
Morehead State will go for the series sweep, something that hasn't been accomplished against the Racers in McGuire's tenure (2013-), on Sunday when the teams meet at 1 p.m. ET.