The Eastern Kentucky University baseball team completed the weekend sweep with a 10-8 win over Coppin State on Sunday afternoon at Earle Combs Stadium.
The Colonels (5-6) have now won four straight games.
“A great job by our team today,” head coach Edwin Thompson said. “I thought it was a team win. Coppin State really competed against us, and for us to finish a sweep on Sunday at home, for our fourth straight win … it was big.”
Coppin State (1-7-1) scored two runs with two outs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 advantage. EKU, however, responded by plating four runs in the home half of the inning to take the lead for good.
Redshirt junior Ryland Kerr led off the inning with a double into right center and scored when junior Will Johnson reached on a throwing error.
Johnson went to second on a base hit by junior Tyler Romanik, advanced to third on a fly out by sophomore Nick Howie and scored on a pop out down the first base line from junior Alex Holderbach.
After freshman Brandon Dehass walked to put runners at the corners, freshman Daniel Harris IV roped a two-run triple into right field to give the Colonels a 7-4 lead.
Coppin State was not finished. The Eagles pushed two runs across in the top of the sixth to pull back to within one, 7-6.
Senior Cornell Nixon gave the Colonels some breathing room in the bottom of the sixth when he reached on an error, advanced to third on another error and then scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Kerr, making it 8-6.
Coppin State threatened again in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. Thompson turned to sophomore right-hander Nick Laster out of the bullpen. Laster induced a pop-out, struck out the next batter he saw and then got Allen Saar to fly out to center to get the Colonels out of the jam unscathed.
“I thought there were some moments where we really battled,” Thompson said of the clutch relief performance. “The biggest one, for me, was Nick Laster. Bases loaded, nobody out and to come in and shut the door really kind of took their momentum out of it. That was awesome to see.”
Eastern opened the bottom of the seventh with three consecutive singles by Howie, Holderbach and Dehass. Dehass’ base hit through the left side scored Howie and made it 9-6 in favor of EKU. A single through the right side of the infield by sophomore Chris Botsoe plated Holderbach and made it 10-6.
Coppin State added a run in the eighth and a run in the ninth, but senior reliever Max Ford was finally able to close the door on the Eagles.
Kerr was 3-for-4 on the day with two runs scored and an RBI. He finished the weekend 10-for-13 at the plate.
Romanik finished the game 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, while Botsoe was 3-for-4 with two runs driven in.
Freshman southpaw Will Brian (1-1) pitched three innings of relief, allowing only two runs on three hits, to earn his first collegiate win.
Branden Redfern (0-1) picked up the loss for Coppin State, going four innings and surrendering six runs on eight hits.
“The fans were great today and we appreciate the outcome from them this weekend,” Thompson said. “We have to come back and get ready to go on the road on Tuesday.”
EKU returns to action on Tuesday, March 6, when the Colonels play at nationally-ranked Kentucky at 4 p.m. ET.
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Associate Director of EKUSports Communications