Southeast Splits Doubleheader, Remains in Third Place
May 18, 2007
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - (Friday, May 18, 2007) Southeast Missouri State split its Friday doubleheader at Tennessee Tech and squandered an opportunity to take over sole possession of second place in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Redhawks allowed a five-run lead slip away in 11 innings in the first game before claiming a 9-2 victory in game two.
The Redhawks remain in third place in the OVC after the split, though they had an opportunity to take over sole possession of second place when Jacksonville State lost game one of its doubleheader.
Southeast (31-21, 16-9 OVC) started the day with its most first-inning runs scored this season. Sending 10 batters to the plate, the Redhawks tallied five runs on five hits, two of which were doubles, along with three stolen bases before the inning was over.
After the outburst though, Tennessee Tech (25-28, 11-15 OVC) starter Matt Smith settled in and quieted the Redhawks bats. Smith, making likely his final pitching appearance of his collegiate career, went on to throw 10 consecutive shutout innings after the first and he retired the final 15 batters he faced.
Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles began chipping away at the Southeast lead with single runs in the first, third and fifth innings. They finally tied the game at five in the bottom of the sixth inning when third baseman Brian Sprowl doubled down the right field line to send two Golden Eagles across the plate.
Southeast starter Dustin Renfrow (West Plains, Mo./Jefferson CC) had his day come to a close one batter later. The right-hander exited earlier than in any other start against an OVC opponent this season, and allowed more than three earned runs for the first time this year. Renfrow gave up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits through five and two-thirds innings pitched. The junior walked two and struck out a pair.
Senior reliever Josh Parham (Jackson, Mo./Fort Scott CC) closed the book on the Golden Eagles' rally in the sixth and kept the game tied through regulation. The southpaw finished the game and ended with five innings pitched under his belt, just one out shy of his career-long outing.
Unfortunately, Parham was on the losing end of a 6-5 Southeast loss in 11 innings. With two outs and a runner of first, the Redhawks opted to pitch around Steve Soper, the Golden Eagles' leading hitter. After the base on balls, Jake New hit a hard ground ball down the line at third base that deflected off of third baseman Nick Harris' (Alabaster, Ala./Thompson HS) just enough to allow Sean Reilly to score the game-winning run.
Soper and New each had three hits for the Golden Eagles. New also drove in a pair of RBIs including the game winner.
Smith, who ended with an 11-inning complete game, was two outs shy of tying the Tennessee Tech record for innings pitched in a game. He allowed five runs on five hits in the first inning, but gave up only six hits the remainder of the game. Smith walked three and struck out six batters.
For Southeast, three batters recorded two-hit performances and freshman Jim Klocke (St. Louis, Mo./Vianney HS) led the squad going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double.
The loss in the first game was the sixth consecutive Redhawks game decided by one run. Southeast was 3-3 during that stretch and is now 7-8 in one-run games this season. Against conference opponents, they are 6-6 in games decided by a single score.
Tennessee Tech was the first to score in game two with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Afterwards, starter Asif Shah (Cincinnati, Ohio/Wabash Valley) threw three straight shutout frames.
The Redhawks, who had been held scoreless for 12 consecutive innings going back to the first inning of game one, finally sent runs across the plate in the third inning of the second contest.
Senior Robby Moore (Rombauer, Mo./Jefferson CC) was hit by a pitch to leadoff the frame, becoming the team-record 72nd Redhawks batter to be hit by a pitch this season (the previous record of 71 was set last season). The next three batters then singled, including an RBI base hit by senior Omar Padilla (Point Reyes Station, Calif./Santa Rosa CC) to put the Redhawks on the board and tie the game.
Sophomore Matt Wagner (Wahoo, Neb./Nebraska) followed with a groundout to first base that scored a run, and Matt Wulfers (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Missouri) and Daryl Graham (Fort Scott, Kan./Cowley County CC) each added two-RBI base hits. Graham's was a double to left field.
With a 6-1 lead in the top of the fourth, the Redhawks put together a two-out rally with the help of a Golden Eagles error. Wagner and Wulfers each reached base two outs, and Shah hit a lazy fly ball toward the left field corner and left fielder New dropped the ball and what would have been the final out of the frame. The error allowed both Wagner and Wulfers to score. Shah reached second on the dropped ball, and he later scored thanks to two wild pitches that both allowed him to advance.
Shah (7-2) gave up a second run in the bottom of the fifth, though a sharply hit ground ball to Moore at shortstop that could have been the final out of the inning was mishandled.
The senior left-hander struck out five batters and walked a pair before exiting the game after five and two-thirds innings pitched en route to his seventh win of the season. He allowed just two runs on four hits.
Tennessee Tech starter Blake Forst got the loss in the second game after allowing six runs (all earned) on eight hits through two and two-thirds innings pitched. He fell to 1-4 on the season.
Padilla was the only Redhaks batter to record a multi-hit performance in each game. He was 2-for-5 in the first game before going 2-for-4 in the second contest; the second baseman added an RBI and a run scored in each game.
Graham and Wulfers each had two RBIs in the second game.
The Redhawks, still questing for the No. 2 seed in the 2007 O'Reilly/OVC Baseball Tournament and a first-round bye, will conclude the regular season Saturday against Tennessee Tech. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.