Redhawks Swipe Series Finale From Morehead State, 13-7
May 14, 2006
By Nathan Saverino, Redhawks Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Sunday, May 14, 2006) - On a day when all the other teams hunting for the final berth for the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Tournament, Southeast stole their way to a key conference victory. With a season-high six stolen bases as a team, the Redhawks defeated the Eagles 13-7 on Sunday to avoid the series sweep. Chris Gibson led the way with three swipes, which is one shy of the all-time single-game record.
The Redhawks (18-30, 9-15 OVC) did more than run their way to victory though, as they banged out 13 hits, including two home runs. The scoring started in the first inning. With the bases loaded and no outs, Levi Olson delivered an RBI single that sent Omar Padilla across the plate, but a throwing error by the Eagles' (17-32, 8-15 OVC) right fielder allowed Jordan Payne to score on the play as well. Morehead starter Greg Wood saw his day end early as a result, exiting after the single without even recording an out.
The Eagles retaliated in the bottom of the inning, coming back at Southeast with four runs to take a 4-2 lead after one inning of play. Two homers accounted for three of the four Eagles runs as Dustin Miles led off the bottom of the inning with a home run, and Donald Cheney hit a two-run blast.
Southeast matched it with four more of their own in the top of the second, thanks to yet another home run. Daryl Graham drew a leadoff walk and Padilla followed with a two-run home run to the opposite field, his fourth of the season. Payne followed up the blast with a base-on-balls, moved to second on a wild pitch, and eventually scored on a two-out single by Dustin Pritchett. After Pritchett swiped the first bag of the ballgame for SEMO, he scored on Gibson's base hit.
After the rough first inning, Southeast starter Phillip Riley settled down through the next 4 and two-thirds innings. He only allowed one more run to score the rest of the game, and even then it came unearned for the Eagles after the batter reached base on an error in the sixth. Riley (2-4) finished with 5.2 innings under his belt, allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits, and he struck out four with four walks.
Meanwhile, the Redhawks scored single runs in the fifth and eighth to make it an 8-5 game after eight innings, but then they exploded for five insurance runs in the ninth. Graham and Padilla were each hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and they scored on a double by Payne. Asif Shah followed with his first home run of the season, a two-run homer that gave Southeast a 12-5 lead. After an out, Pritchett and Gibson combined to do the same thing they did earlier in the second. Pritchett singled and stole second, while Gibson drove him in with a single of his own.
Derek Herbig, who came on for Riley with two outs in the sixth, wrapped up the game and earned his first career save. A two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth were the only runs Herbig allowed through 3.1 innings of work. The senior southpaw allowed just two hits and struck out five in just his second relief appearance this season.
On the base paths, Gibson swiped three bases, Pritchett stole two, and Daryl Graham added another. Graham was the only Redhawk runner caught stealing, attempting to steal third base after he had just swiped second.
Padilla led the way for Southeast out of the leadoff spot, with a 3-5 performance at the plate. He had a homer, two RBIs, three runs scored, and was hit by a pitch for a team-leading 11th time this season.
Shah, who replaced Andrew Graham as the designated hitter in the eighth inning, was 2-2 with a double, home runs, two runs, and two RBIs.
Donald Cheney led the way for Morehead State with a 2-4 performance at the plate. Both hits were two-run home runs.
The Southeast win on Sunday was an opportunistic one, as the other teams in the hunt for the sixth and final spot for the 2006 OVC Baseball Tournament lost for the second consecutive day. Tennessee Tech, Tennessee-Martin, and Murray State all lost their games, as the Redhawks separated themselves from the field this afternoon. The win puts Southeast one game behind Tennessee Tech for sixth place in the OVC, and the two teams square off for a three-game set next weekend at Capaha Field. For complete Ohio Valley Conference baseball standings, visit the official website of the OVC at www.ovcsports.com.
Before the Redhawks take on the Golden Eagles, they play host to the Billikens of Saint Louis University this Tuesday. Southeast will host SLU to complete a home-and-home series between the two teams. First pitch at Capaha Field is scheduled for 3:00 p.m., and the game can be heard live on 1220 KGIR, or via the Internet at www.kgir.com.