Southeast Haunted by Indians in Walk-Off Defeat
March 7, 2007
JONESBORO, Ark. - (Tuesday, March 06, 2007) Ever since shedding the "Indians" moniker in January of 2005, the Southeast Missouri State baseball team had yet to defeat its former "tribal" foes. The Arkansas State Indians defeated the Redhawks in the last three contests dating back to the '05 campaign, and once again, the Indians haunted Southeast in a 6-5 loss in Jonesboro, Ark., on Tuesday evening.
The fortunes were seeming to turn in favor of Southeast in the top of the eighth inning at when Asif Shah erased a four-run deficit with a three-run home run. However, All-American Josh Yates delivered a dramatic home run of his own in the bottom of the ninth to send the Redhawks back to Cape Girardeau with the loss.
Yates was a thorn in the side of Southeast all game as the designated hitter in the clean-up role, going 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, two RBIs and the walk-off home run.
Shah started the game for Southeast on the mound with a conference-leading 0.84 ERA, and left the mound after six innings allowing just three runs (only one was earned) on five hits. The senior southpaw also struck out eight hitters while issuing just three walks.
The Southeast offense, struggling thus far with only a .222 team batting average through the first nine games, would not provide much run support for the Cincinnati, Ohio, native. Redhawks batters struck out a total of 11 times in the evening affair, and they mustered just five base hits.
Southeast scored the first run of the game in the top of the second inning with the help of a couple of Arkansas State miscues. After Matt Wulfers drew a leadoff walk, Dustin Pritchett dropped a single in the outfield when the center fielder lost sight of the ball in the twilight sky. The runners advanced into scoring position on a passed ball, and Daryl Graham recorded his first RBI of the season with a single to center.
The Indians capitalized on an error in the bottom of the third to take a 2-1 lead. Guy Brown hit a two-run double to right field with two outs, and both runs were charged as unearned to Shah.
Arkansas State added a run in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh off of Southeast relief pitcher Brent Lawson. Yates drove in the first of the two runs in the seventh inning, and he scored from second base just two batters later on Drew Rogers' single to center.
Finally, Shah took matters into his own hands at the plate after moving from the mound to the designated hitter role in place of Phillip Riley. After Robby Moore scored when Matt Wagner reached on an error by the shortstop, Shah hit a three-run home run with Omar Padilla and Wagner on the corners. The homer, his team-leading second of the season, tied the game at five runs apiece and relieved Shah as the pitcher of record.
The Redhawks were poised to score the go-ahead run in the top half of the ninth inning after Graham was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a passed ball. However, ASU right fielder Tyler Doke robbed Jim Klocke with a diving catch in shallow right field, and Moore lined out to Doke for the second out of the inning. Nick Lambert finally closed the door on the rally by forcing Nick Harris to pop out to the second baseman.
Yates, with the home field advantage of batting last, had the final say with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The All-American, celebrating the recent birth of his second child, sent Josh Parham's 1-1 pitch beyond the left-center field wall to clinch the victory for Arkansas State.
Parham (1-1) was tagged with the loss. The walk-off home run to Yates was the only hit and run he allowed in one and a third innings pitched; he also struck out four Arkansas State batters.
Lambert (2-0) picked up the win for the Indians. Starting pitcher Tim Egart, usually the closer for Arkansas State, pitched five innings and allowed just one unearned run to score on three hits. He also struck out eight Southeast batters while walking two.
The Redhawks will look to return to the win column tomorrow afternoon when they host the Billikens of Saint Louis University at Capaha Field. Senior right-hander Phillip Riley is set to start for Southeast, and first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The game can be heard live on 1220 AM KGIR/ESPN or via Web cast available at www.kgir.com.