At a Glance
This week's SLIAC Game of the Week is a baseball doubleheader between Principia College and Eureka College. The doubleheader will take place on Friday, April 7 with games set for a 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. start in Eureka, Illinois.
While both Eureka and Principia were picked in the last spot of their divisions in the 2017 SLIAC Baseball Preseason poll, both teams have already secured three combined wins in conference play this year after totaling a combined eight wins last season.
Eureka College 'RED DEVILS'
Eureka comes into the week with a 4-12 overall record and 2-3 record in conference play. The Red Devils will host both Principia and Spalding this weekend. Eureka is coming off a 6-5 extra inning win over Fontbonne on Sunday.
The Red Devils are hitting .225 as a team, last in conference play, but have shown the ability to hit the long ball with seven home runs, good for 5th in the SLIAC. They hold a 5.76 earned-run average, 7th in the SLIAC. Heading up their offense is junior Ray Vogel. Vogel is hitting .300 this season with five home runs and 15 runs batted in while slugging .660. Sophomore catcher Grant Mullin is hitting .302 and is second on the team with 14 RBI and a team-best four doubles. The pitching staff is led by junior Isaiah Taylor, a lefty, who has recorded a 2.74 E.R.A. over 23 innings this season with 18 strikeouts. Freshman Brady Sevier has been valuable out of the pen, working 13.1 innings with a 2.03 E.R.A.
Principia College 'PANTHERS'
Principia College begins the week with a 10-5 overall record and a 1-0 mark in the SLIAC. The Panthers face Iowa Wesleyan on Tuesday afternoon in Elsah, Illinois before embarking on their weekend road trip to Eureka. They will then host Westminster on Saturday.
Principia is hitting .311, 2nd in the SLIAC, and have scored 80 runs this season. They have been the hardest team in the conference to strikeout this season, doing so just 78 times. Their pitching staff holds a 5.20 earned-run average. The Panthers lineup features four players hitting above .300 this year, with junior Ed Bargman pacing the team with a .434 average. Senior Connor Coyne is hitting .333 with a team-best three home runs while driving in 13 and sophomore Zach Grennie is hitting .333 with one home run and a team-leading 16 runs batted in. Senior Sawyer Grow and sophomore Alex Stamos are stalwarts for the Panthers in the rotation. Grow has recorded a 1.57 E.R.A. over 28.2 innings this season while Stamos has a 1.82 E.R.A. with 31 strikeouts over 29.2 innings.
- Eureka leads the all-time series against Principia 16-11 with the two teams splitting the regular season series in each of the last three years.
- Eureka is in the midst of a 14 game home stand that will not conclude until April 19 against Iowa Wesleyan.
- Principia has already surpassed their win total from last year when they went 9-28 overall.
- Eureka needs just one more conference win to even their total from last season.
- Wins this weekend could go a long way for Principia in the battle for the postseason, something the program has not accomplished since 1999.
- Principia's Ed Bargman leads the SLIAC in batting average with a .434 mark this season.
- Eureka's Ray Vogel is tied for the conference lead with five home runs.