Baseball Blunders Lead to Fifth Straight Series Loss
May 7, 2006
By Nathan Saverino, Redhawks Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Sunday, May 07, 2006) - Despite pulling out game one of the series yesterday, the Redhawks could not hold on to win the conference series with Eastern Kentucky as they were swept in a doubleheader on Sunday. Three errors in game one and four more in the second game led to two losses on the afternoon, 8-3 and 6-5.
The last time the Redhawks (17-28, 8-13 OVC) won the first game of a series, they went on to sweep Murray State, shutting out the Thoroughbreds in all three games. However, they could not hold on for either game against EKU (22-21, 11-8 OVC) on Sunday. After the two losses today, the sweep of the 'Breds remains the last series win for the Redhawks this season.
Back-to-back-to-back errors in the sixth inning on game one led to five unearned runs for the Colonels that were the difference in the ball game as the Redhawks ultimately fell 8-3.
Southeast did not log a hit off of Colonels freshman starter Chris Friedrich until the fourth inning after they were already trailing by three. Friedrich, a two-time OVC Pitcher of the Week this season, held Southeast to just two runs (one earned) on five hits in 6.0 innings. He also fanned 10 Redhawks batters.
However, an inning later in the fifth they came within one of Eastern Kentucky. Phillip Riley singled to center to start things in the frame, and moved to second on a passed ball. With one out, Aaron Rave and Omar Padilla hit consecutive singles to bring in Riley. Jordan Payne followed with an RBI as he drove in Rave from third to make it a 3-2 ball game.
The Colonels quickly separated an inning later, after a hit batter, a wild pitch, and an error in three consecutive plays led to five unearned runs
The Redhawks' defensive woes continued in game two. The Colonels were the first to score in the fourth inning with some help from Southeast. After starter Jamie McAlister hit a batter with one out, a double, two errors, and a triple led to four unearned runs as EKU took a 4-0 lead.
The lead did not last for long, though, as Southeast answered with four of their own. Levi Olson led off the bottom of the fourth with his 15th double of the season, and Andrew Graham hit a rope down the left field line that cleared the wall for his second homer this season. With the deficit cut in half, Payne and Daniel Schuh singled with one out. Daryl Graham then hit a double to left that scored Payne, but Schuh was called out at the plate on a bang-bang play. Home plate umpire Mike Phillips then ejected the freshman centerfielder after Schuh spiked his helmet in disbelief.
Southeast went on to tie the game in the next at bat. Padilla reached on an infield single to third, and the third baseman's errant throw allowed Graham to cross home on the play. Eastern Kentucky recaptured the lead with two in the fifth, and SEMO got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Payne hit a sacrifice fly to score Olson from third.
Trailing 6-5 heading into the final inning, designated hitter Andrew Johnson led off with a double to left center, but the Redhawks failed to bring him in from scoring position despite three hard hit balls. He moved to third on Olson's fly out to center field. Andrew Graham hit a hard chopper back to the mound that was snagged by EKU closer Michael Mulholland. With one last chance, Dustin Pritchett hit a deep fly ball to left center, but it was caught to end the game at the warning track.
Mulholland picked up the save in game two. At the plate for the Colonels, Shawin Flora led the Colonels in game on with three RBIs and two runs scored in a 2-4 performance at the plate. Matt Davis drove in three runs of his own in the nightcap as he went 2-4 at the plate.
Olson's double in game two tied him for the team-lead in doubles. Padilla and Olson have each recorded 15 two-baggers this season. The senior catcher was 2-4 with two runs scored in game two.
Josh Parham, who pitched in relief in game two, had a solid showing on the mound. In 2.1 innings he gave up only one hit and no runs and he also struck out a batter.
Southeast ends the weekend in the same position in the OVC as they started: in a tie for seventh place. With six games against OVC opponents remaining, the Redhawks are tied with Murray State and Tennessee-Martin for seventh place. The three clubs are 2.0 games behind Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech who are both in a tie for fifth and round out the six teams in position for the OVC Baseball Tournament if the season ended today.
The Redhawks will travel for the final road games of the season next weekend. Southeast will travel to Morehead, Ky. to take on the Eagles of Morehead State. The Eagles are in last place in the league after being swept by first place Samford this weekend.