Redhawks Complete Two-Game Sweep of Cleveland State
March 4, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Sunday, March 4, 2007) After allowing the Cleveland State Vikings to score just one run on Saturday, the Southeast Missouri State baseball team repeated with a similar performance today. Led by freshman southpaw Josh Syberg, the Redhawks defeated Cleveland State 5-1, and they extended their streak of consecutive wins to four while claiming the two-game series sweep.
Syberg (2-0) recorded his second win on the mound in seven innings of scoreless baseball for the Redhawks. He gave up just six base hits, all singles, while walking two and recording six strikeouts. The six strikeouts increased his season total to 20, which ties the St. Louis, Mo., native for the Ohio Valley Conference lead with Jake Edwards of Tennessee Tech.
Southeast (6-2) gave Syberg an early run, jumping on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Omar Padilla reached first base with a one-out single up the middle, and he moved to second when Matt Wagner drew a walk. With Dustin Pritchett at the plate, both runners advanced on a double steal, and Pritchett drove Padilla across the plate, as Wagner was putout on a groundball to short.
The Vikings (2-6) threatened in the top of the fourth with runners at the corners and just one out, but Syberg was able to get himself out of the jam with a double play on a chopper back to the pitching mound.
They threatened again in the top half of the sixth inning. After an infield single by Bobby Cash to lead off the inning, third baseman Rich Ranells laid down a sacrifice bunt along the third base line. However, Cash was thrown out at third base while trying to advance an extra bag.
Cleveland State promptly loaded the bases with two outs after a walk and back-to-back singles. Freshman Nick Harris then made a diving stop at third base on Matt Madrid's ground ball down the line and was able to make the force out at third base so that the Vikings run would not score.
In the bottom of the sixth, hysteria ensued as the Redhawks capitalized on a couple of Cleveland State mistakes and added two runs to their lead.
Pritchett walked with one out and moved to third on Daryl Graham's pinch-hit single to right field. Just a couple of pitches later, Graham stole second base as the Vikings catcher Sam Clyde threw down to third base in an effort to catch Pritchett too far off the bag. Clyde's throw sailed over the third baseman's head and into left field, allowing Pritchett to score and Graham to advance to third base.
A moment later, third baseman Rich Ranells appeared to tag out Graham at third as he started to lead off the bag. However, Cleveland State head coach Kevin Kocks' attempt at the hidden ball trick went awry when pitcher Josh Hungerman retreated to the pitching mound. A balk was called because Hungerman was on the mound without possession of the baseball, and Graham scored the second run of the inning for Southeast.
The play resulted in Ranells' ejection when the Vikings and Kocks argued the call.
Southeast added two more runs in bottom of the seventh inning, although the Redhawks pitching staff proved that they were hardly necessary. The Vikings scored their only run in the eighth inning off of Southeast reliever Lance Rhodes. Ivan Nails pitched the ninth inning for Southeast.
Despite some early-season struggles at the plate, Padilla led the offense at the plate with a pair of base hits from the second spot in the batting order. The senior second baseman was 2-for-4 at the plate with one run scored and an RBI; he also stole a base.
Hungerman (1-2) was responsible for the Cleveland State loss. In six innings pitched, he gave up three runs (one earned) on two hits while walking three and striking out six. Cash and Josh Geric each had two hits for the Vikings.
Southeast, off to its best start since the 2000 season when they started the year 8-2, will return to action on Tuesday in a game at Arkansas State. The Redhawks and Indians are scheduled to start the ball game at 6 p.m. The Redhawks will return home on Wednesday to host Saint Louis at 2 p.m.
Both games can be heard live at 1220 AM KGIR/ESPN or via webcast available at www.kgir.com.