In a back and forth battle, Morehead State baseball got a one-out, RBI single from junior third baseman Dom Peroni in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Eagles claimed a 5-4 victory over Murray State to secure a series sweep Sunday at Allen Field.
It marked Morehead State's (32-17/15-9 OVC) first sweep over the Racers (19-25/13-11) since 1996, and ironically current head coach Mike McGuire was a graduate assistant on the Eagle coaching staff that season.
"We had a really good week of baseball with four wins, and pretty much every game this weekend was a tough battle that we had to grind out," said McGuire. "Today, Murray kept answering us every time we took a lead, but we got great pitching again, especially from Alex Garbrick and (sophomore left-hander Cory) Conway to close it out."
After picking up the save in Saturday's win, Conway (1-1) worked the final 2.2 innings today and didn't allow a hit to go along with three strikeouts. With the potential tying run on third after a fielding error, stolen base and throwing error on the steal attempt, Conway struck out the final Racer batter.
The eighth inning rally started with a single by senior left-fielder Jake Hammon. Two batters later, junior designated hitter Jon Burghardt slashed a single past first base to push Hammon to third. On a 2-0 count from reliever Justin Thomas, Peroni knocked a line drive just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Jordan Holly to score Hammon with the go-ahead tally.
The Eagles led 2-0 after three frames, including an RBI double by senior center-fielder Connor Pauly in the third inning. But, Brock Anderson tied the game with his two-run long ball in the top of the fourth. Junior second baseman Ryan Layne answered with an RBI double that landed just inside the left-field line in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-2.
Once again the Racers answered. Sean Darmafall's solo shot in the fifth tied the game. Not to be outdone, Burghardt hit his fourth home run in the last four games in the sixth to give his team a 4-3 lead. Holly knotted the game again with an RBI single in the seventh.
Burghardt, Peroni, Layne and senior shortstop Reid Leonard all tabulated two hits apiece as the Eagles totaled 10 on the game.
Eagle starter Garbrick went a career-best 6.1 innings and struck out a career-high 10.
Morehead State is idle during the week for semester final exams before returning to OVC action Friday at Tennessee Tech at 7 p.m.