LINDSBORG, Kan. – Evangel extended its season-opening hot streak with its second doubleheader sweep of Bethany in as many days Saturday afternoon at Anderson Field. The Valor used a late offensive surge to notch an 8-3 win in game one, before claiming a 2-1 win in eight innings to complete the four-game series sweep of the Swedes.
- Evangel (5-1) scored five unanswered runs to snap a 2-2 deadlock in the first game, with Grant Kosanke going 3-for-4 and combining with Mason Hansen to drive in six of EU's eight runs.
- Austin Dill (2-0) notched the game-one victory, working into the seventh inning, striking out eight Swedes and scattering three earned runs on seven hits.
- Levi Loughridge (1-1) tossed a complete game in the nightcap, allowing just a first-inning unearned run while fanning five and permitting five hits.
- The Valor made the most of its four hits in game two, as Nathan Lamb's sacrifice fly brought in the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Kosanke came through with the first of his three game-one hits with a two-run single in the top of the second.
- Luis Gorritz evened the score for Bethany (6-6) with a two-out, two-run double off of Dill in the home half of the third.
- Hansen plated the go-ahead run in the fifth, driving a run-scoring double to right-center after Stephen Belcher was hit by a pitch, then swiped second to set up the rally.
- Hansen delivered another critical hit in the sixth, chasing home Dalton Cook and Aidan Satterfield with a two-out double down the left-field line; Athanie Leeviraphan added an RBI infield single, before Hansen scored from third for the fourth EU run of the inning when Leeviraphan extended a run down on the basepaths.
- Bethany scored on a Copeland fielder's choice grounder in the sixth.
- Kosanke's third hit of the game with two out in the seventh scored Suiter to make it an 8-3 contest.
- Dill recorded the first two outs of the seventh, before Dylan Blehm struck out Joseph Rivera for the final out of the game.
- Loughridge was the story for the Valor in the nightcap, as the right-hander shut down the Swedes on just five hits in the eight-inning, complete-game effort.
- Bethany got on the board in the first thanks to a trio of Evangel errors.
- Loughridge was nearly untouchable from that point on, retiring 10 straight Swedes at one point and working out of a two-on, one-out jam with the game on the line in the home half of the seventh.
- After Bethany's Manuel Rodriguez held EU scoreless through five innings, the Valor broke through to plate the tying run on a two-out passed ball.
- With the tie-breaker rules in effect, Belcher advanced to third on a wild pitch with nobody out in the decisive eighth, before Lamb's fly ball to center put the Valor in front, 2-1.
- Evangel is off to a 5-1 start for the second time in the last three seasons; the Valor opened the 2019 campaign with six wins in its first seven games.
- The Valor's five-game win streak represents its longest since winning eight in a row from Feb. 21 to Feb. 29, 2020.
- Leeviraphan recorded one hit in each of the two games to extend his hit streak to six games.
- Dill earned career victory No. 15 with his second win in as many starts to open the 2022 season.
- Loughridge picked up his eighth career mound victory and his second career complete game with the game-two decision.
"Dill and Loughridge were outstanding," Evangel head coach Tyler Henry said. "Our catchers, Brandon Ulm and Dalton Cook, were tremendous in managing the games. Today was a gutsy team effort and our guys battled all weekend. I'm very proud of their efforts."
Evangel will open a four-game weekend stay in Joplin Friday (Feb. 18) afternoon with a 2:30 p.m., matchup with Viterbo at Joe Becker Stadium. The Valor will then face fellow Heart Conference foe Graceland at 5 p.m., before taking on Lyon and Hastings at Wendell Redden Stadium on Saturday (Feb. 19).
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.