Murray State Ends Tribes Season in Semis of OVC Tournament
Paducah, Ky. (May 17, 2003) - Fourth seeded Murray State ended Southeast Missouri State's season today with a 4-3 elimination game win. Murray's victory leaves the four, five and six seeds alive in the double-elimination tourney.
The big blow of the game was a two-run second inning home run by Thoroughbred left fielder Geoff Kirksey. It gave Murray State a lead that was never surrendered.
Southeast, 31-20, got single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings with Justin Christian contributing a run scoring double and a long home run. The Indians, who left nine base runners, left two runners on in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Stan Skakalski started for the Tribe and pitched five innings allowing four hits, three runs, two earned while striking out three. Ryan Forsyth pitched the final three innings and allowed one earned run on three hits and struck out four.
Christian had two RBI on the day. Gary Gilbert continued his hot hitting and had two hits on the day scoring once. Denver Stuckey, Zach Borowiak, and Seth Moulton each had a hit with Moulton scoring once.
The Tribe ends one of its most offensively productive seasons in recent memory. The team batted .321 led by senior Brian Hopkins as the left fielder finished with a .401 average, 18 homers, 59 RBI and 160 total bases. He slugged .792 and was second or higher in nine different offensive categories in the OVC.
Justin Christian, Zach Borowiak, Denver Stuckey and Gary Gilbert each batted over .300 on the season, while Tristen McDonald and Seth Moulton were close at .294 and .282, respectively. Borowiak tied Hopkins for the team lead in RBI with 59 and was second in homers with 15. Christian was second on the team in average and had 13 homers with 48 RBI as he was named the league's Rookie of the Year.
Tim Alvarez was the best pitcher in the league this season as he was named the OVC Pitcher of the Year. He finished with a 14-3 record and a 2.74 ERA. The wins are a new Southeast record and tie an OVC mark for wins in a season. He is currently leading the nation in that category, as well. He capped off his stellar senior season by pitching the first-ever no-hitter in OVC Tournament history as he guided the Tribe to a 4-0 defeat of the No. 1 seed Austin Peay Govs in the second round of the tournament.
Murray State, 22-29, will play either Eastern Illinois or Eastern Kentucky in an elimination game later Friday night.