Redhawks Drop Series Opener to Illinois State
March 9, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Friday, March 09, 2007) The Southeast bats finally burst to life on Friday against Illinois State, but the five-run burst through the first four innings was not enough to hold off the Redbirds. Southeast gave up six runs over the last four frames as the Redbirds came from behind to defeat the Redhawks, 8-5.
Freshman Nick Harris led the game off with an opposite field home run for the Redhawks. The homer was the first Southeast (7-4) leadoff bomb since Denver Stuckey started off a game against Arkansas State on April 15, 2003, with a ball over the wall.
Daryl Graham added a run in the second inning after he led off the frame with a double to the wall in left-center field gap. After two Southeast outs, Harris walked and Omar Padilla singled up the middle to bring Graham around to score.
The two run lead held up only until the next half inning though. Illinois State (4-6) loaded the bases with no outs, and their first run scored when Ryan Anetsberger grounded into a double play. Kevin Dubler drove in the tying run with a double to center.
Southeast reclaimed the lead in the fourth inning. Jim Klocke led off the inning with a single and moved to second on Robby Moore's sacrifice bunt. The top of the order followed with three singles in a row. Klocke advanced to third on Harris' single, and Padilla drove him across the plate with a single through the right side on a perfectly executed hit and run. With runners on the corners, Padilla stole second base, allowing both he and Harris to score on Matt Wagner's subsequent single.
Wagner's two-run single signaled the end for Redbirds starter Eric Theisen after he had allowed five runs on nine hits in three and one-thirds innings pitched. Unfortunately for the Redhawks, it also signaled the end of their scoring surge.
Illinois State relief pitcher Jim Sajewich retired the next 13 Southeast batters and allowed only one Redhawk to reach base. Sajewich (1-1) was rewarded with his first win of the season for holding Southeast to just one hit over four and two-thirds innings pitched.
Meanwhile, junior Dustin Renfrow was effective through five and one-third innings in his start on the mound for Southeast. Renfrow was responsible for three runs on seven hits and was in line for his second victory of the season when he left the game.
The Redbirds refused to be put away, though. Sophomore Daniel Schuh allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth, and another Redbird crossed the plate to make the score 5-4 after he allowed a pair of doubles
After Schuh allowed a leadoff single in the top of the seventh, senior Josh Parham was called upon to keep the tying run from scoring. After getting the first batter he faced to pop out to first, Parham, who had not allowed any of his previous eight inherited runners to score, struggled with his control. He issued two walks to load the bases, and then Jesse Griswold drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center field. Kevin Konsler followed with a two-run double to give Illinois State a 7-5 advantage.
They made it 8-5 in the top of the ninth when Matt Bolt hit a solo home run.
Southeast wouldn't go down without a fight, though. The tying run was at the plate on three occasions after Harris doubled to lead off the inning and Padilla was hit by a pitch. However, the Redhawks failed to bring either of them around to score.
Harris and Padilla led the offense from the leadoff and second spots in the lineup, respectively. They each were 3-for-4 at the plate. Harris scored twice and had an RBI, while Padilla scored once and drove in two RBIs. Padilla also stole two bases.
Konsler was 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, a run scored and three RBIs for Illinois State.
The two teams will play game two fo the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. The game can be heard live on ESPN 1220 AM KGIR or via Web cast available at www.kgir.com.