Kansas City, Mo. – Evangel fell short in both halves of Saturday’s doubleheader at Avila in Kansas City, Missouri losing 4-3 in nine innings in the first game and 11-8 in game two when they had the tying run on base.
The Crusaders forced extra innings in game one but Avila pushed home the game-winning run in the ninth. Evangel tied the game at 3-3 when two runs came home on a Darin Francis ground ball. Francis also hit a solo home run in the sixth to get the Crusaders on the scoreboard. Avila won the game in the bottom of the ninth when Tyler Raymond drew a bases loaded walk. The loss marked the eleventh time this season Evangel has lost a one-run game.
Evangel could not overcome a five run deficit in the first inning of game two. Avila held off the Crusaders after Evangel pulled within a run of the lead in fourth inning scoring three runs. The Eagles posted a four-run bottom of the fourth and added single runs in the fifth and sixth. The Crusaders threatened late in the game scoring a run in the seventh and Evangel had the bases loaded trailing 11-8 when Eagles reliever Chase Cunningham ended the game with a strikeout.
Kyle Thurman hit his eighth home run of the season for Evangel in game two while scoring three times and driving in three runs.
The losses extended Evangel’s losing streak to eight games. They dropped to 9-26 and 1-13 in the Heart of America conference. Avila improved to 19-17 and 10-4 in the league.
Evangel’s home doubleheader on Tuesday against Lindenwood-Belleville has been canceled. Their next games are Friday when they open a four-game series at Peru State with a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.