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Justin Wheeler blasts a grand slam in the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie Friday night.
Justin Wheeler blasts a grand slam in the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie Friday night.
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Wheeler Slam Caps Comeback Win Over SIUE, 9-5

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April 17, 2009

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By Tyler Koonce, Sports Information Assistant

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Senior left fielder Justin Wheeler belted a grand slam to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning as Southeast Missouri State (20-14) defeated SIU Edwardsville (9-22) Friday night at Capaha Field. The Redhawks scored six times in the eighth inning to take the lead.

Tony Spencer and Kenton Parmley drew leadoff walks to begin the eighth inning and then both crossed the plate to tie the game at 5-5 when Tyrell Cummings doubled off the wall in left-center field. Matt Wagner and Jim Klocke followed and both drew walks to load the bases before Wheeler unloaded on a 1-0 pitch for his second grand slam and team-leading 10th home run of the season.

The game was tied 3-3 early on as both teams scored three times in the second inning. Brett Keeler hit a 3-run home run in the top of the frame to give the Cougars an early lead.

Southeast answered back with a little help from the SIUE defense, which committed three errors and three balks during the third. Nick Harris drove in Jim Klocke with a sacrifice fly for the first run and Louie Haseltine followed with a double to deep center field to bring in Wheeler. Haseltine moved to third on a balk and came around to score when Trenton Moses singled to center to tie the game.

SIUE pulled ahead with two runs in the top of the fifth thanks to an RBI double from Michael Hopkins and run-scoring groundout by Dustin Brooks.

John Salazar (3-2) earned the victory for the Redhawks after throwing four scoreless relief innings with four strikeouts to close out the game. He allowed only two hits and did not issue a walk.

James Leigh started for Southeast and tossed five innings with three strikeouts in the no-decision. He struck out three and walked two.

Blaise Haxel (0-2) took the defeat for SIUE after giving up three earned runs without recording an out in the eighth inning.

Dustin Quattrocchi started for the Cougars and threw seven solid innings without allowing an earned run. He notched six strikeouts and gave up only two walks.

The future Ohio Valley Conference oppoenents return to the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. They will play two 7-inning games at Capaha Field.


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