Redhawks Fly Above and Beyond in 21-10 Berth-Clinching Win
May 20, 2006
By Nathan Saverino, Redhawks sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Saturday, May 20, 2006) - In seemingly football fashion, the Southeast baseball team defeated the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles with the season on the line. Their first three-game series victory since sweeping Murray State the first weekend of April came in exciting fashion, and the Redhawks took flight in a 21-10 victory over TTU. With the win, Southeast has earned the sixth and final spot for the 2006 O'Reilly OVC Baseball Tournament in Paducah, Ky.
The Redhawks took flight from the very start and never looked back after a six run first inning, including a three-run home run delivered by senior Jordan Payne. In his last regular season game in his career, Payne went on to hit another homer in the second inning, and finished his day with four hits.
Meanwhile, the other Redhawk batters did much of the same. After only four innings, Southeast had a comfortable 19-3 lead, and they sent at least eight batters to the plate in each of the first four frames. The team amassed a season-high 21 runs on a season-high 22 hits, while also setting season high marks in RBIs (20), doubles (6), and total bases (30). They got some help from Tennessee Tech pitchers also, as Redhawks reached base after being hit by a pitch on seven occasions, another 2006 high.
The seniors, in their last game ever at Capaha Field, especially led the way. The four seniors in the game's starting lineup, Payne, Chris Gibson, Levi Olson, and Dustin Pritchett, all combined to go 11-20 with three doubles, two homers, nine RBIs, and 11 runs scored between them.
On the mound, senior southpaw Derek Herbig led the defensive charge for 6.1 innings. Herbig (3-4) allowed five runs (just four earned) on six hits while striking out five batters.
The Golden Eagles scored a pair of runs in the second on Scott Dunham two-run blast to make the score 6-2, but they never stood a chance after Southeast fired back with another half-dozen runs in the bottom of the second. The five Tennessee Tech runs in the top of the ninth was much too little, much too late after trailing 21-5.
Golden Eagles starter Matt Kearney (2-4) was tagged for the loss. He faced seven batters to start the game, and allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits without ever recording a single out.
Every player in Southeast's starting lineup recorded a hit in the contest, and eight of the nine starters had multiple hit games at the plate. Payne recorded the only four-hit masterpiece, while Pritchett, Daniel Schuh, and Daryl Graham each had three base knocks.
Omar Padilla ended his regular season with a ten game hit streak, as he extended it on Saturday with a 2-5 performance. He also drove in two and scored once. In addition, he was hit by a pitch twice, bringing his team-leading season total to 14.
Southeast earned its twelfth consecutive trip to the O'Reilly OVC Baseball Tournament with Saturday's win, and they will begin tournament play next Wednesday. The Redhawks will take on the Panthers of Eastern Illinois at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, Ky. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., and the game can be heard live on 1220 KGIR or via the internet at www.kgir.com.