Chippewas 9th Inning Rally Sinks Redhawks, 5-3
March 20, 2005
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Sunday, March 20, 2005) The game of baseball is perhaps the most humbling of any sports, especially in collegiate baseball, there is no such thing as a sure thing and the Redhawks baseball team found that out the hard way in their 5-3 loss to Central Michigan in the rubber game of a three-game series at Capaha Field Sunday afternoon
The Redhawks (7-11) held a 3-1 lead over the visiting Chippewas (11-6) heading into the top of the ninth inning. With All-American closer Brad Smith pitching to the bottom half of the Chippewas order it seemed that the Redhawks would win their second-straight game of the season.
Smith hit David Latour with a pitch to lead-off the inning. He then walked pinch-hitter Derek Schaller. J.T. Jones attempted to move the Chippewas base runners with a bunt. Smith fielded the bunt but threw to third base to try to get the lead runner. Latour was called safe at third and that led to a bases-loaded situation with no outs.
Jeremy Crum singled to right to drive in Latour and again left the bases loaded. Troy Moratti tied the game with a fielder's choice RBI. All-American Jim Geldhof then singles to drive in Jones and give the Chippewas a 4-3 lead.
The Chippewas added another run when Smith walked in a run with the bases-loaded to make the score 5-3 prompting Redhawks Head Coach to bring in Joey Evans to record the last out and to stop the damage.
Reliever Nathan Pung pitched a perfect ninth to end the game.
Before the disasterous ninth the Redhawks seemed poise for the win.
Jordan Payne recorded his team-leading third homerun of the season and second of the series in the bottom of the third to give the Redhawks a 1-0 lead.
That lead was later extended in the fifth when Levi Olson led off with a single and later advanced to second when the center fielder bobbled the ball. Bo Jenkins moved Olson to third on a sacrifice bunt. Olson then scored on a sacrifice fly by Payne.
For Payne it was his second RBI of the game and his fifth of the series. Payne has a team-high five mult-RBI games
The Chippewas pulled to with one run, 2-1 in the seventh when Jones led off the inning with a triple down the left field line. He later scored on a Crum single.
In the bottom of the seventh Brent Lawson hit his first homer of the season to give what the Redhawks thought was some cushion before the Chippewas ninth inning.
The loss spoiled another strong performance by the Redhawks pitchers. Starter Derek Herbig had his second-straight solid home outing pitching 5.1 shutout innings, allowing only three hits and striking out six Chippewas.
Chippewas starter Jayson Ruhlman was equally impressive as he went seven innings allowing three runs and striking out 10 Redhawks.
Neither pitcher however would be a part of the decisions.
Pung (1-0) was credited with the win and Smith (0-1) got the loss.
Eric Horstman continued his hot hitting as he went 3-4 extending his hitting streak to a team-high 10 games. It was also his seventh multi-hit game of the season and fourth-straight multi-hit game. Horstman went 7-12 (.583 batting average) in the series.
Freddy Lopez went 1-3 to extend his hitting streak to four games.
Josh Parham showed his duarability as he made his fourth-straight appearance in as many games.
Crum and Geldhof led the way for the Chippewas. Crum went 2-2 with two RBIs and Geldhof went 2-5 with the game-winning RBI.
The Redhawks will host Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville on Tuesday, March 22. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. at Capaha Field.