MONMOUTH, Ill. — J.D. Theile (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and the Eureka College baseball team came to Monmouth Wednesday afternoon and left quite the impression.
Thiele, a freshman, threw eight scoreless innings while only giving up three hits and one walk and striking out three en route to a 2-0 victory over the Fighting Scots.
It was the Red Devils' first road shutout since April 11, 2018, when EC blanked Edgewood 5-0 at Stampfl Field in Verona, Wisconsin. It was the team's second win over Monmouth in its last three tries. And it only took 2 hours, 3 minutes get it done.
"He really had great command of his off-speed, which really made his fastball more effective and look even faster," EC coach Jerry Rashid said of Theile. "He kept them off-balance. They really didn't have a lot of great swings, and the balls that were hit in the air, we made the plays."
For the second game in a row, Mason Diederich (Washington, Ill./Washington) notched the save for the Red Red Devils. The sophomore stepped on the mound in the ninth and retired the Fighting Scots in order with two groundouts and a strikeout.
At the plate, EC tallied eight hits, with seniors Sean Green (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) and Grant Mullin (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) and junior Braxten Ary (Green Valley, Ill./Midwest Central) all posting two apiece.
The Red Devils' first run came with two outs in the first inning. Mullin and Drew Thoele (Teuotoplis, Ill./Teutopolis) both singled to put two on. Then, Jake Carter (Carlinville, Ill./Carlinville) delivered an RBI single to put EC on the board.
Run No. 2 happened five innings later, when senior Joe Quinn delivered an RBI sacrifice fly to right field with the bases loaded. That was all the Red Devils needed.
In addition to EC's strong pitching, the defense behind Thiele and Diederich didn't commit any errors on Wednesday. Middle infielders Carter and Mike Redmond (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) each made quality defensive plays, Quinn made a few clutch picks at first and the outfield play was clean and sharp.
The word Rashid used to describe his team's overall showing was "attentive."
"I'm really happy with our performance," Rashid said. "We're continuing to take steps toward the process of reaching .500 and being a competitive team all the time."