Renfrow, Redhawks Muzzle Bulldogs
April 14, 2007
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - (Saturday, April 14, 2007) Southeast Missouri State starting pitcher Dustin Renfrow silenced the Samford Bulldogs beneath the lights at Joe Lee Griffin Field on Saturday, recording his second complete game shutout of the season. The Redhawks defeated Samford 4-0 and claimed sole possession of first place of the Ohio Valley Conference.
The game, originally scheduled as part one of a doubleheader to be played at 1 p.m., was moved back to 7 p.m. due to inclement weather in the Birmingham area.
The six-hour delay didn't phase Renfrow (West Plains, Mo./Jefferson CC), who has won OVC Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season. The junior right-hander tied a season high with six strikeouts, four of which came in the first two innings. He allowed just six hits and two walks as he worked a full nine innings.
Meanwhile, the Southeast (22-12, 8-2 OVC) offense had their way with another OVC award-winning pitcher. Bulldogs (16-18, 3-7 OVC) starter Josh Ehmke, last year's Pitcher of the Year, was knocked out early after the Redhawks scored four runs on five hits through the first three innings.
Southeast scored the first run of the game in the first inning. Sophomore Matt Wagner (Wahoo, Neb./Nebraska) drove in a run with a two-out groundball through the right side of the infield.
Senior Asif Shah (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) scored in the third on an Ehmke wild pitch to put Southeast ahead 4-0. He reached base on a one-out single that extended his hitting streak to a career-high seven games.
Samford threatened in the bottom of the fourth after shortstop Michael Marseco led off the inning with a double to the wall in right center, but the Redhawks defense picked up Renfrow. Third baseman Parker Gargis followed with a fly out to center, and center fielder Daniel Schuh (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenney HS) cut down Marseco, tagging from second base, with a perfect strike to third base.
Schuh made another outstanding play behind Renfrow in the seventh inning, a sliding catch in center field on Bear Burnett's line drive to the outfield that was the first out of the frame.
Bulldogs reliever David Knapp entered the game in the fourth inning for Ehmke (5-4) and quickly quieted the Redhawks. Knapp did not give up a hit in his six innings of relief and allowed just two batters to reach base.
Still, Renfrow was too much for the Bulldogs. He retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced, and only one runner reached scoring position in the last four innings.
Renfrow (3-0), who entered the game leading the OVC and ranked 20th in the nation in earned run average, lowered his ERA to 1.47 with nine shutout innings.
Southeast is alone in first place in the OVC after its win and a Jacksonville State doubleheader split against Eastern Illinois. The Redhawks lead the Gamecocks by one-half game heading into Sunday.
Southeast and Samford will complete the three-game series Sunday with two seven-inning games. The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Each game Sunday can be heard live on ESPN 1220 AM KGIR or via webcast available at www.espn1220.com.