SALINA, Kan. – Evangel opened its 2022 baseball season Monday (Feb. 7) afternoon, splitting a doubleheader with Kansas Wesleyan at Dean Evans Stadium. After the Coyotes bested Evangel by a 14-2 score in the opening game, Athanie Leeviraphan homered for EU and drove in four runs, while Austin Dill turned in a strong mound effort to lift the Valor to an 8-3 win in the nightcap.
- Dill (1-0) struck out eight and allowed just two runs over 6.0 innings to earn the game two victory.
- Leeviraphan—a two-time All-American defensive back on the grid iron for Evangel—belted a three-run homer in just his second baseball game for EU to highlight the Valor's (1-1) seven-run inning in its 8-3 win in game two.
- Kansas Wesleyan used a trio of big innings to post a 14-2 win in game one, striking for three runs or more in four different innings.
- Tyler Triano (1-1) recorded the game one victory by scattering two EU runs on six hits, while fanning nine hitters in a complete-game effort.
- KWU's William Dryburgh doubled, homered and drove in four runs in the first contest, while Reece Bishop added three hits and four RBIs for the Coyotes (4-5).
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Ryan Sandoval singled to start a three-run rally in the home second of the first contest; Bishop delivered an RBI single for the first run of the day, before Robbie Keener and Dryburgh came through with two-out, run-scoring doubles to make it a 3-0 game.
- Sandoval struck again in the third, singling with one out to ignite a four-run KWU outburst; Dustin Sipe doubled home a run, before Bishop belted a two-run homer to left and Kevin Esquilin-Cruz added a ground-rule double to plate the seventh Coyote run of the day.
- Evangel got on the board with two runs in the fourth, using a Mason Hansen leadoff homer to notch its first run of the season; Noah Suiter accounted for the second EU run with a solo blast of his own with two out in the inning.
- Jarrett Gable and Bishop each added run-producing hits in the fourth, before Keener drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Bishop scored on a two-out passed ball to extend the KWU lead to 11-2.
- Dryburgh blasted a two-out, three-run homer in the sixth to account for the final margin.
- In game two, EU took advantage of a trio of walks and Leeviraphan's three-run shot to right-center to plate seven runs; Nathan Lamb added an RBI single, and Suiter brought in another run with his two-out double to left.
- Dill made the lead stand, keeping the Coyotes off the scoreboard until the fifth inning when a Esquilin-Cruz double and a Dryburgh sac fly handed KWU a pair of runs.
- Dill capped his outing by striking out the side in the sixth.
- Hansen hit his fifth career home run in the opener.
- Suiter's solo blast marked his third home run at Evangel.
- Evangel head coach Tyler Henry earned his first victory as the Valor's bench boss.
- Dill picked up his 14th mound victory and topped the 150-strikeout plateau for his Evangel career.
"I'm proud of our guys for bouncing back from a tough first game loss and earning our first win," Henry said. "Austin Dill was outstanding against a very good lineup. Athanie Leeviraphan's three-run homer gave us a nice cushion and fully turned the momentum in our favor."
Evangel will travel to Lindsborg, Kan., to open a four-game weekend series against Bethany, beginning with a Noon doubleheader on Friday (Feb. 11).
For the latest information on Evangel Athletics, visit Facebook at Facebook.com/EvangelValor, Twitter (@EvangelValor), or EvangelAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates on their favorite EU teams by downloading the Evangel Athletics Gameday App through the App Store or Google Play.