Southeast Bounces Back Into the Win Column Against Saint Louis
March 7, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Wednesday, March 07, 2007) After a gut-wrenching loss at the hands of Arkansas State last night, the Redhawks bounced back with a tally in the win column against Saint Louis University this afternoon. Once again, pitching was the key for Southeast in the midday contest against at Capaha Field. The Redhawks pitching staff, which leads the Ohio Valley Conference in team earned run average, led Southeast over SLU, 5-2.
Senior Phillip Riley made the start on the mound for the Redhawks (7-3) despite having not appeared on the hill since February 18 at Jackson State when he picked up the loss as the Tigers rallied to defeat Southeast.
However, with the loss at Jackson State three weeks behind him, Riley (1-1) set the tempo for Southeast from the pitching rubber against the Billikens (1-10) by striking out the side in the top of the first on just 12 pitches.
The offense responded immediately and gave Riley a quick three-run cushion in the bottom of the inning. The first three Redhawks batters reached base safely, starting with Nick Harris and Omar Padilla who reached base on a single and a walk. Then, sophomore Matt Wagner drove in the first run of the game with a single to left field. Daryl Graham loaded the bases with a one out walk, and Cape Girardeau native Matt Wulfers dropped a two-RBI double down the left field line.
Beyond the first frame, Southeast struggled to put men on base against Saint Louis starter Eric Brewer. The left-hander for the Billikens settled down and allowed only one hit through the next four innings. He left the game after five innings, allowing just the three runs in the first inning on a total of four hits. Brewer (0-1) also walked three and struck out three.
Riley proved that three runs were enough for the win, though. He continued to roll through the Billikens lineup and did not allow a single run to score through the first six innings of the contest as he forced Saint Louis to strand seven runners on base in the second, third and fourth innings alone.
In the top of the seventh, Saint Louis finally got the best of Riley for a single run when they strung together a trio of base hits in the inning. Riley exited with two outs in the inning, finished the start with six and two-thirds innings pitched under his belt. He allowed just one run to score on six hits, walked four batters and struck out four more.
Junior Matt Holland, making his first appearance in a Redhawks uniform, recorded the last out of the inning in relief of Riley. The right-hander from Ste. Genevieve, Mo., gave up a pair of hits to start the top of the eighth before closer Ivan Nails entered the game.
The Redhawks added a pair of insurance for good measure with one in the seventh and one in the eighth, but Nails allowed only one of the inherited runners from Holland to cross the plate as he held Saint Louis in check for a total of two runs at the end of the game.
Nails picked up his second save of the season in as many opportunities in the relief appearance.
The Redhawks will host Illinois State for a three-game weekend series this weekend, beginning with a 3 p.m. game on Friday. The two teams will also play single games on Saturday and Sunday with both starting times scheduled fo