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Struck strikes gold twice in Morris victory

DeKalb hitter Danny Petras singled and eventually scored in the first inning on of Tuesday's Northern Illinois Big 12 East baseball game. It came after an RBI single by catcher Trenton Sopko.

It would prove to be a short-lived lead for the Barbs.

Morris third baseman Greg Struck capped a four-run first for the Redskins with a three-run home run against DeKalb pitcher Jeremy Karasewski and he would again add a two run home run in the second as Morris bolted to a 6-1 lead and then held tight to an 8-3 win at home.

Certainly the biggest shots of the game came off the bat of Struck.

"The first one he got pretty good. It was a 2-2 pitch that was left up," DeKalb coach Jake Howells said. "The second one was not a bad pitch at all. He's just a good hitter and has been a good hitter in this conference for a while now."

Struck said that Howell's assessments were right on.

"I didn't hit the second one on the sweet spot. I hit just enough of it to get out," he said. "The first one felt so good off the bat. I couldn't ask for a better pitch to hit."

After coming in to finish up Monday's conference opener in DeKalb, Morris pitcher Preston Miracle went back out on Tuesday and went the distance to get the win.

"I was really excited when we jumped right on them. It seems like things are starting to turn for us," Miracle said.

From the other dugout, Howells said that his team, meanwhile, has had a tough time getting his team to make that same turn — especially on offense.

"We're been running into the same problems. We don't have a problem hitting and giving ourselves the opportunities, it's just getting big hits," he said. "We just can't seem to string them together for whatever reason. We've been lacking when it comes to getting the big hit."

Miracle benefited from that as much as anyone as he ended up allowing 10 hits while walking one and striking out one. It was the second straight day he had pitched against the Barbs.

"Last night it was a situation where we needed him to get the outs, and he was scheduled to pitch today," Morris coach Todd Kein said. "He only threw 20 pitches yesterday and would have thrown on the side anyway, so we knew he'd be in good shape today."

Petras led DeKalb at the plate by getting three hits. Jared Johnson had a hit, a walk and two runs scored.

Morris is now 11-11 overall and 3-5 in the NIB12E while DeKalb slips to 9-9 overall and 3-5 in league play.

"I think we took one big step in a good direction today," Kein said. "This baseball team has been the philosophy that nothing is ever enough because we've been prone to the big inning. For us to get out like that behind Greg's bat and then contain them, that was great to see."

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