Bradley Sweeps the Redhawks as Southeast Falls 8-3
March 6, 2005
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Sunday, March 6, 2005) - It was a rough weekend for the Redhawks baseball team. After losing both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, the Redhawks lost Sunday afternoon by a score of 8-3 as the Bradley Braves completed a sweep of the three-game series. As was the case on Saturday, the Southeast lineup was at the mercy of Bradley pitching, as Collin Walker and Michael Christl combined to allow only three runs on seven hits, striking out 10 Redhawk batters.
Sunday's game started out no different than either game Saturday with Bradley (6-2) jumping on the board early in the first inning. SEMO (3-7) starting pitcher Andrew Johnson walked the first batter of the ballgame, Brian LaJeone, who advanced to second after an errant pickoff attempt following a fly out to right by Ryan Kenny. Paul Rice reached first base after being hit by the pitch. Bradley scored the first two runs of the game when clean-up hitter Brad Canada hit a double into the left field corner that allowed both runners to score.
Bradley added two more runs in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 4-0, which would turn out to be all they would need. Joe Napoli was hit by the pitch to lead off the inning, and Justin Carr doubled down the right field line to advance Napoli to third. Napoli and Carr both scored on sacrifice flies by Ryan Curry and Adam Usicki, respectively. After Brian LaJeone was hit by the pitch, the fourth of the day by Johnson, Ryan Forsyth came on in relief for the Redhawks.
Despite the pitching change, Bradley continued to pour it on in the fifth inning. Paul Rice, who led the Braves with a 4-for-4 game and had 10 hits in 12 at bats over the weekend, led the inning off with a single. Brad Canada followed suit with a single of his own that allowed Rice to advance to third base. He then scored when Jon Smith rolled into a 4-6-3 double play. The inning continued when Napoli reached second base on a double to left that eluded a diving Chris Gibson's outstretched glove. With the wind blowing straight out to right field, Justin Carr hit a two-run homer off of Forsyth to put the Braves up by seven.
The Redhawks bats were silenced over the first four innings. Bradley starter Collin Walker scattered three hits up to that point, and allowed only one walk. However, after Freddy Lopez grounded out to first to start things off in the fifth, Bryan Kurt doubled to the gap in left. Then, Bo Jenkins, who got the start at second after going 2-for-4 the day before, hit a blast over the right field wall for the Redhawks first runs of the game. Levi Olsen, pinch-hitting for Brady Noll, flied out to center, but Jordan Payne got things going again with a double down the left field line. Payne came around to score on Brian Horstman's single up the middle.
Horstman's single would be the last base hit of the ball game for Southeast. Sophomore reliever Michael Christl came on in relief in the sixth inning for the Bradley Braves and was lights out from thereon. Christl, who earned the save, pitched four innings of no-hit ball and allowed only two batters to reach base, both on walks. He retired seven hitters on strikes. Braves pitchers struck out Redhawk batters 28 times in 24 innings of baseball in the three-game series. Meanwhile, they only gave up six walks.
Bradley added one final run in the next half-inning to put the score at 8-3. Forsyth came in strong in his last three innings of work, keeping the Braves from scoring in the final trimester of the game. Forsyth finished with eight strikeouts and no walks in his five and a third of work.
Southeast will try to rebound from the tough three-game sweep tomorrow as the take on South Dakota State at Capaha Field at 3:00 p.m.