Redhawks Open OVC Play With Doubleheader Sweep of UT-Martin
March 24, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Saturday, March 24, 2007) For the first time since 2004, the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks baseball team began conference play with a doubleheader sweep. The Redhawks won both games of their home doubleheader on Saturday against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks. They scored a pair of come-from-behind victories with a 7-6 win in game one and 7-5 in the nightcap.
In game one, Southeast (14-7, 2-0 OVC) trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, and they had yet to record a base hit. Freshman Nick Harris (Alabaster, Ala./Thomspon HS) led off the frame with a single, and he advanced to second when Dustin Pritchett (Kennett, Mo./Forest Park CC) was hit by a pitch with one out. The Redhawks tied the game at two as Matt Wagner (Wahoo, Neb./Nebraska) and Matt Wulfers (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Missouri) hit back-to-back RBI singles into right field.
After UT-Martin (6-14, 0-2 OVC) recaptured the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh, senior Omar Padilla (Point Reyes Station, Calif./Santa Rosa CC) hit a two-run home run to straight-away center field to tie the game back up.
Dustin Renfrow (West Plains, Mo./Jefferson CC) left the game after seven innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits. He walked one and struck out three.
Parham did not allow a run in the top of the ninth, and Southeast trailed by just one run as they went to bat for the last time. Freshmen Jim Klocke (St. Louis, Mo./Vianney HS) and Harris hit back-to-back one-out singles. Senior Asif Shah (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) singled to right to tie the game at six. With Harris at third and one out, Pritchett bunted the first pitch between the pitcher and the third base line, allowing Harris to score the game-winning run.
The Redhawks fell behind early again in the second game of the doubleheader. UT-Martin scored two runs in the first and led 4-0 halfway through the fifth inning.
Southeast rallied with two outs in the fifth and the sixth innings, scoring a combined seven runs to complete the doubleheader sweep.
In the fifth innings, senior Robby Moore (Rombauer, Mo./Jefferson CC) extended his hitting streak to six games with a single to start the rally. Padilla also singled, and Klocke drove in Moore with a base hit through the left side of the infield. Harris was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Shah's single cut the deficit to one as Padilla and Klocke each crossed the plate.
UT-Martin extended their lead to two in the top of the sixth against Shah, the starting pitcher, thanks to a throwing error by Klocke that allowed a runner to score after he had stolen third base. Shah exited after he had retired two outs in the inning. The southpaw worked five and two-thirds innings, gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, and he struck out five batters.
Junior Ivan Nails (Horn Lake, Miss./Southwest Tenn. CC) relieved Shah in the top of the fifth with a runner on second base, but he held the Skyhawks to just the one run and kept the Martin lead to two.
In the bottom half the inning, sophomore Daniel Schuh (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenney HS) drew a one-out walk, and Padilla hit an RBI double with two outs. After Klocke drew a base on balls, Harris gave Southeast the lead with a double to the warning track in center field that allowed two runs to score. Shah followed with a single up the middle to make the score 7-5.
Five other Southeast batters recorded at least one base hit in each game - Padilla was one of them. The First Team All-OVC of a year ago was 1-for-3 in game one with a two-run home run and 2-for-4 in game two with an RBI and two runs scored. He has now hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.
The bullpen picked up the win in each game of the doubleheader today. Parham improved to 2-2, and Nails (1-1) recorded his first collegiate victory. Meanwhile, relievers Eric Walker (1-3) and Chadwick Cameron (1-1) were tabbed with the losses for UT-Martin.
Lance Renton led the Skyhawks offensively in each game. He was a combined 5-for-8 with a home run, three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored.
Southeast will look for its first 3-0 start in OVC competition since 2003 when they conclude the three-game weekend series against UT-Martin on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., and the game can be heard live on ESPN 1220 AM KGIR or via web cast available at www.espn1220.com.