Arkansas State Topples Redhawks with Late Surge
March 29, 2005
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Wednesday, March 29, 2005) After six innings of scoreless baseball, the Arkansas State Indians rallied late in the ballgame to shutout the Redhawks, 9-0. Southeast starter Casey Johnson dueled with ASU's Stephen Thorpe through six innings. After brilliant outings by both starting pitchers, it was the Arkansas State bullpen that prevailed in the end.
In only his second start of the season, the freshman Johnson worked six and one-third innings of brilliant baseball for Southeast (8-14, 1-2 OVC). He allowed only one run on five hits to an Arkansas State team that came in hitting .306 with 24 homeruns collectively.
After forcing Arkansas State's (19-8) right fielder Brad Burkhead to ground out to second, Johnson gave up a double to the designated hitter Kevin Kull, Jr. With Kull on second and one out, Jamie McAlister was called in from the bullpen. Kull advanced to third after McAlister quickly retired the first batter he faced with a groundout to short. McAlister then issued a walk to pinch hitter Elliot Jacobs. Monte Douglas sent the first run of the game across the plate with his two out, pinch-hit single to right. After advancing to third on the single, Jacobs scored after Mike Sirianni reached base on a throwing error delivered by third baseman Eric Horstman after he had dove to stop the hard hit ground ball. Isaac Dillon, pinch running for Douglas after he was injured rounding first base when he hit his single, scored the third run of the inning when Chris Rich hit a single to center. However, Rich was thrown out after being caught in a run down trying to advance to second.
The three runs in the top of the seventh would be enough for the Indians. The Redhawks never were able to string enough hits together to put any runs on the board. Their best chance to score came in the second when Frank Montiel and Brent Lawson each hit singles to lead off the inning. However, Southeast caught a tough break when Levi Olsen hit a rocket line drive back up the middle that Tharp was able to knock down. The play resulted in a double play as both Montiel and Lawson were forced out. Olsen was then forced out at second on Bryan Kurt's ensuing ground ball to short.
After Tharp was ousted in the sixth, the ASU bullpen was even more dominating. Relievers Blake Ring, Brando Westmoreland, and Will Powell all combined to work three and two-thirds innings allowing only one base hit.
The Southeast bullpen, however, continued to struggle. McAlister allowed two more runs in the eighth when Kull, Jr. blasted a two run homerun to left center with two outs that also scored Burkhead, who reached base on a walk. Matt Carter then relieved McAlister to record the last out of the innings.
Arkansas State added four more runs in the top of the ninth off of Bill Clayton. Clayton hit the catcher Chris Protho with the first pitch he delivered. Dillon and Sirianni followed with back-to-back singles that allowed Protho to score. After retiring Rich with a popup to shallow right field, Geoff Desmond hit a two-run triple to right center. After Brent Lawson came in to pitch, he scored two batters later on Burkhead's sacrifice fly.
Eric Horstman was able to extend his team-leading hitting streak to 14 games with a bunt single in the first inning.
Southeast will try to bounce back this weekend against conference foe Jacksonville State. They will take on the Gamecocks in a doubleheader at Capaha Field beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and will wrap up the series with a single game on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.