Redhawks Grind Out Doubleheader Sweep
May 13, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - (Saturday, May 13, 2007) The Southeast Missouri State Redhawks swept a pair of games from Morehead State Saturday, as the Redhawks claimed 4-3 and 3-2 victories in a conference doubleheader. Southeast surpassed the 30-win plateau and also clinched a spot in the 2007 O'Reilly/OVC Baseball Tournament in Paducah, Ky.
It took Southeast (30-19, 15-7 OVC) its final at bat in each game before claiming the two wins. The Redhawks' win in game two put the Redhawks at 30 wins on the season, making the 2007 squad just the eighth club in school history to surpass that mark and the first since 2003.
Game one was the tournament clincher for Southeast, as they will appear in the postseason conference tournament for the 13th consecutive season, which ties a conference record for consecutive tournament appearances. All 13 tournament berths have come with Mark Hogan at the helm; he has never missed an OVC tournament during his tenure as Southeast head coach.
The Redhawks scored a pair of runs in the first inning of game one before when senior Asif Shah (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley CC) and sophomore Matt Wulfers (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Missouri) each hit RBI singles. Both runs scored after a bouncing ground ball to short that could have likely been an inning-ending double play, but instead senior Omar Padilla (Point Reyes Station, Calif./Santa Rosa CC) was able to reach base.
However, the Eagles (15-33, 8-15 OVC) tied the game with a pair of their own runs in the top of the third. After Southeast starting pitcher Dustin Renfrow (West Plains, Mo./Jefferson CC) had retired the first six batters of the game, Morehead State had four consecutive base bits to lead off the frame.
Senior Robby Moore (Rombauer, Mo./Jefferson CC) knocked in a run in the fourth to reclaim a Southeast advantage.
Renfrow maintained the Redhawks lead until the eighth inning when center fielder Nick Bobrowski hit his second home run of the year to start the inning.
Renfrow finished the inning, however, and left the game after eight innings pitched. He struck out a season-high eight batters and allowed just three runs on six hits and one walk.
In the bottom of the ninth, Southeast had the bases loaded with one out when Shah hit a ground ball back to the mound. Pitcher Tyler Lee threw home in time for the second out, but catcher Donald Cheney's throw down to first in an attempt to complete the double play was low. As it bounced away from the first baseman, Padilla rounded third and scored the game-winning run.
Lee was tagged with the loss for Morehead State, falling to 2-4 on the year. Senior Phillip Riley (Memphis, Tenn./Jackson State CC), who pitched the top of the ninth inning, improved to 6-3 with the win.
In game two, Southeast scored a run in the third and again in the fourth to give starting pitcher Shah a two-run cushion.
Shah, needing just one shutout to tie the school record of four shutouts in a single season, retired the first seven batters of the game and threw five scoreless innings for Southeast. However, the Eagles finally got on the board in the top of the sixth.
After back-to-back singles to lead off the frame, Trent Hanna hit a sacrifice fly to right field to put Morehead State on the board and end Shah's chance of tying the record.
Morehead added a run in the top of the seventh before senior Josh Parham (Jackson, Mo./Fort Scott CC) enter the game in relief.
Parham kept the Eagles from scoring another run in the seventh inning and worked through a bases-loaded jam in the eighth to preserve the tie score in extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth frame, senior Daryl Graham (Fort Scott, Kan./Cowley County CC) stepped to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. Graham, who hits .405 with runners on base, delivered a game-winning single into center field that scored pinch-runner Zachary Blemker (Vincennes, Ind./Vincennes).
Parham (5-3) got the win, while Morehead State reliever Michael Bottoms (1-3) was tagged for the loss in game two.
Sophomore Matt Wagner (Wahoo, Neb./Nebraska) led the inning off with a single and was the batter responsible for the game-winning run as Blemker pinch-ran for the first baseman. Wagner was the only Redhawk with multiple hits in each contest: he was 2-for-3 in game one and 3-for-4 in game two.
Third baseman Ryan Kinder led the Eagles with three hits in the second game. Two Morehead State batters had two hits in game one.
With the doubleheader sweep, Southeast moved into sole possession of second place. First place Austin Peay and third place Jacksonville State each split their doubleheaders, so the Redhawks stand just one-half game behind the Governors for the OVC lead. They are also ahead of the Gamecocks by one-half game.
The three-game series will conclude Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m. Seniors will be honored prior to the contest.