By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Less than a week ago, the Colonels were ranked near the bottom of the Ohio Valley Conference in almost every significant offensive category.
Through the first 24 games of the season, EKU was averaging less than five runs a game — and that lack of production was a big reason for the team’s eight-game losing streak.
But things have turned around rather quickly for the Colonels.
EKU (9-19, 5-7 OVC) pounded out 33 hits, including eight home runs, on Sunday and rolled to a 30-14 win at Morehead State. The victory finished off a three-game sweep of the in-state rival Eagles and pushed the Colonels’ winning streak to four games.
EKU out-scored Morehead (9-22, 4-11 OVC) 53-24 during the series.
On Saturday, the Colonels hit four home runs in an 18-6 win over the Eagles.
“Momentum is the key,” EKU coach Jason Stein said. “Just keep the snowball going downhill and hopefully moving in the right direction.”
In the past four games, the Colonels have scored 63 runs.
The offense was spectacular on Sunday with the wind blowing out at Allen Field. Every EKU starter had at least two hits, 12 players had at least one hit and nine players drove in at least one run.
Shaun Ball and Kyle Nowlin each hit two home runs. Doug Teegarden, Sean Hagen, Bryan Soloman and Demetrius Moorer each had one homer.
Nowlin went 5-for-6 with five runs scored and three RBI. Alex Hughes was 4-for-4 with five runs scored. Teegarden drove in seven runners while going 3-for-7 with three runs scored. Ball finished 3-for-7 with five RBI and two runs scored and Grisham went 3-for-6 with five RBIs and four runs scored.
The Colonels scored in each of the first three innings to take a 9-0 lead. Ball followed a walk by Soloman with a two-run homer in the first. Ball and Nowlin each hit two-run homers in the four-run third inning. Teegarden had a bases-clearing double in a four-run fifth inning, giving EKU a 13-2 lead.
“Hats off to our hitters,” Stein said. “When there was a mistake, they hit it. We’ve been talking about that and we’ve been telling them, ‘Don’t miss your pitch.’ They didn’t and everyone was exceptional at the plate.”
EKU scored seven in the seventh to put the game out of reach. Nowlin hit his second home run of the game, a solo shot, Grisham had a two-run double and Teegarden smacked a two-run homer.
Shane Grimm (3-3) started for EKU and earned the win despite allowing eight runs on eight hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Matt Lynch pitched two innings and allowed five runs on six hits. Chris Cervantes pitched the final two innings and gave up one run on three hits.
“Our starters pitched well enough to win,” Stein said of the series with Morehead. “It was hard on any pitcher today. If you didn’t have a good breaking ball or the ability to command your fastball exactly where you wanted it, it was going out of the yard. It was a tough day to pitch.”
The Colonels are set to return to action Wednesday at Ohio University.