Southeast Drops Regular Season Finale at Tennessee Tech
May 19, 2007
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - (Saturday, May 19, 2007) Southeast Missouri State hit three home runs Saturday at Tennessee Tech, but all three were solo shots as the Redhawks fell just short in a 9-6 loss to the Golden Eagles.
With the loss and a win by Jacksonville State, the Redhawks (31-22, 16-10 OVC) finish the regular season in third place in the Ohio Valley Conference and will have a No. 3 seed in at the 2007 O'Reilly/OVC Baseball Tournament. Because Samford won its game, Southeast is scheduled to play No. 6 Murray State in round one of the tournament Wednesday, May 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Southeast took an early two-run lead Saturday with solo home runs in both the first and second innings. Both came with two outs, as senior Omar Padilla (Point Reyes Station, Calif./Santa Rosa CC) hit his eighth bomb of the season in the first, and sophomore Daniel Schuh (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kinney HS) knocked his third of the year in the second inning.
The home runs snapped a seven-game home run drought for the Redhawks, who last hit a home run against Eastern Illinois on April 29 when they hit two, including a grand slam by Padilla.
Redhawks freshman starting pitcher Josh Syberg (St. Louis, Mo./Vianney HS) mowed through the first inning without allowing a runner, but he encountered trouble in the second after hitting catcher Steve Soper to lead off the frame.
Tennessee Tech (26-28, 12-15 OVC) claimed the lead with a four spot in the bottom of the second inning. After the leadoff hit batsman and a passed ball, center fielder Michael Roeder hit an RBI single. Just a few batters later, shortstop Ryan Wardlow hit his second home run of the season, a three-run homer to give the Golden Eagles a 4-2 lead.
Freshman catcher Jim Klocke (St. Louis, Mo./Vianney HS), making a bid for OVC Freshman of the Year, tied the game in the top of the fifth with a two-RBI double in the right-center gap that rolled to the wall.
Syberg (4-3) pitched into the fifth inning but left the mound with no outs in the inning after he gave up a double and a base on balls to start the inning. Senior right-hander Phillip Riley (Memphis, Tenn./Jackson State CC) entered the game in relief of the freshman southpaw. Syberg, who has not pitched five or more innings since his start in game two of a doubleheader at Samford on April 15, was charged with six runs (all earned) on six hits through four innings pitched. He struck out four, walked one and also hit a batter.
Riley gave up a bunt single that loaded the bases to the first batter he faced before first baseman Jake New reclaimed the lead for the Golden Eagles with a two-run single up the middle. Riley pitched around Soper, issuing a base on balls to load the bases. Then, with the infield drawn in, shortstop Robby Moore (Rombauer, Mo./Jefferson CC) made a diving stop to his left on Sean Reilly's sharply hit ground ball. Moore was able to get to his feet and force out the runner at home to prevent the run.
Meawhile, despite the two home runs early on, TTU starter Jared Dobbs received just enough offensive support to hold on for the win. Dobbs, who improved to 5-3, gave up five runs (five earned) on seven hits through six and one-third innings pitched. He also struck out a pair and walked a batter.
The Golden Eagles were able to add another run before the end of the frame, extending their lead to 7-4 when Roeder hit an RBI single to center field.
Southeast began scratching back with a run in top of the seventh inning. After senior Daryl Graham (Fort Scott, Kan./Cowley County CC) was hit by a pitch to start the frame, freshman Nick Harris (Alabaster, Ala./Thompson HS) hit a one-out double down the left field line. Klocke, with a pair of runners in scoring position, drove in his third RBI of the game with a ground ball to second base.
Klocke's three runs batted in tied a season-high and it was his third three-RBI performance of the season. He finished the game 1-for-5 at the plate with a double.
Tech got the run back in the bottom of the inning and added a second before the end of the frame to make the score 9-5, its largest lead of the day.
Sophomore Matt Wagner (Wahoo, Neb./Nebraska) hit the Redhawks' third solo home run of the game in the top of the eighth; it was his eighth of the season.
Shah and Harris led the squad offensively, each with a pair of hits. Shah was 2-for-4 and recorded his third multi-hit performance in the last four games. Meanwhile, Harris' multi-hit game was his first since April 24 against Memphis.
The Redhawks' 31 regular season wins are the most for the team since 2002 when Southeast finished the regular season 32-17. In 2002, Southeast was 4-1 in the OVC Tournament en route to winning the tournament championship. The squad went on to post a 1-2 record at the NCAA Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala., including a win over Alabama on its home field.