Redhawks Split Twinbill with Eastern Illinois
April 28, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Saturday, April 28, 2007) The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks baseball team split a doubleheader with Eastern Illinois Saturday. The Redhawks won the first game of the twinbill 10-5, but they lost game two 14-4. The doubleheader split, along with results elsewhere in the Ohio Valley Conference, projected Southeast into a three-way tie for first place in the league.
The Redhawks roughed up Eastern Illinois starter ChrisVaculik for five runs in the first two innings, including four in the first.
After a pair of runners reached to lead off the game, senior Asif Shah (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) hit a one-out RBI single through the left side of the infield. Sophomore Matt Wagner (Wahoo, Neb./Nebraska) followed with a screaming line drive off Vaculik's leg that allowed Wagner to reach and load the bases. Sophomore Matt Wulfers (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Missouri) delivered the biggest blow to Vaculik in the first inning with a two-run double off the wall in right-center field, just a couple of feet shy of a grand slam.
Vaculik settled down after the second inning, allowing just one more base hit until his outing ended after four and two-thirds innings pitched. He was tagged for five runs on six hits and five walks, and he struck out two batters.
Eastern Illinois scored a run in top of the second inning before adding a pair of runs in the fourth frame. Shortstop Adam Varrassi singled to shallow right field as the ball bounced Daryl Graham's (Fort Scott, Kan./Cowley County CC) glove when he made a diving attempt at the bloop fly ball. Varrassi was credited with one RBI, though another run scored unearned on the play when Graham's throw to the infield was wild.
Junior starting pitcher Dustin Renfrow (West Plains, Mo./Jefferson CC), who entered the game ranked 16th nationally with a 1.69 ERA, did not allow another Panther to score until third baseman Ryan Campbell hit a solo home run to start the sixth inning.
Renfrow (4-1) preserved the Southeast lead through six innings pitched in the start. The right-hander gave up just four runs, only three of which were earned, allowed six hits, issued three walks and struck out four batters.
He made way to senior pitcher Phillip Riley (Memphis, Tenn./Jackson State CC) at the start of the seventh inning, and Riley would not relinquish the Redhawks lead as he held on for his first save of the season. The save was a three-inning variety in which the only run EIU scored against the senior right-hander came in the top of the eighth inning.
Southeast added to its 5-4 lead in the seventh inning with four runs after they loaded the bases with two outs. Reliever Ross Jeske entered the game for EIU to try and end the rally, but instead he allowed three consecutive Redhawks singles. Freshman Jim Klocke (St. Louis, Mo./Vianney HS) hit a two-RBI single through the left side, and Shah and Wagner each followed with run-scoring singles of their own.
Vaculik (4-6) took the loss for Eastern Illinois in game one.
Shah, Southeast's game two starter on the mound, faced a similar early-inning fate as Vaculik did for the Panthers in game one. After loading the bases with one out, Eastern Illinois pounded out five runs in the first inning with three consecutive doubles.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Redhawks took advantage of the bases loaded with no outs to score a pair of runs. Graham hit a sacrifice fly to right field for the first SEMO run of game two. After senior Dustin Pritchett (Kennett, Mo./Forest Park CC) walked to re-load the bases, Moore flied out to center to bring the Redhawks within three runs. Southeast could not capitalize any more, though, as Pritchett was thrown out to end the inning on the play while trying to advance to second base.
The Redhawks added a run in the third on freshman Nick Harris' (Alabaster, Ala./Thompson HS) RBI single to center to make the score 5-3, but that was as close as Southeast would get.
Shah settled down after the five-run first inning, not allowing any more runs to score until two unearned runs crossed the plate in the fifth inning. The senior southpaw left the mound after four and two-thirds innings pitched, and he gave up seven runs (five earned) on eight hits while walking five and striking out three.
After Shah's exit, Eastern Illinois pulled away with seven more runs before claiming the 14-4 victory over the Redhawks.
Pritchett added a solo home run, his third of the season, to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning for the Redhawks' fourth and final run of the game. The Panthers bullpen combined to allow no runs and just two hits over the final two and two-thirds innings.
Shah (5-2) recorded his second loss on the mound in consecutive starts. Meanwhile, EIU starter Alex Guttosch (1-4) recorded his first win of the year.
Senior second baseman Omar Padilla (Point Reyes Station, Calif./Santa Rosa CC) finished the afternoon with two hits in each game. He was 2-for-4 with a triple and three runs scored in game one and 2-for-3 with one run scored in the second game.
Four Redhawks had two RBIs in the first game: Klocke, Harris, Shah and Wulfers. Harris totaled three RBIs between both games of the doubleheader.
Southeast and the Panthers will conclude the three-game weekend OVC series Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.