Redhawks Claim First Round Victory Over Eastern Illinois
May 24, 2006
By Nathan Saverino, Redhawks Sports Information
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (Wednesday, May 24, 2006) - Everyone on the Redhawks baseball squad seems to be hot at the right time, including Dustin Pritchett. Pritchett drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-RBI double to cap off a four run sixth in the Redhawks' 7-6 win over Eastern Illinois on Wednesday evening at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, Ky.
Having hit safely in nine consecutive games now, the senior outfielder recorded his fourth straight multiple hit game with a 3-4 performance at the plate in the first round of the 2006 O'Reilly OVC Baseball Tournament. Pritchett scored once and stole a base, and he drove in four runners including what would turn out to be the game-winner with a double in the sixth inning.
After three lead changes through the first five innings, Southeast trailed the #3 Panthers 4-3 heading into the sixth inning. Daryl Graham got the inning started with a lead-off walk and moved into third base on an Omar Padilla single. With runners on the corners, Brent Lawson reached on a bunt that was fumbled by the EIU second baseman, allowing Graham to score the game's tying run.
Following a strikeout, Jordan Payne singled to send Padilla in to score. Andrew Graham loaded the bases with one out after being hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Pritchett's game-winning double. The senior pulled the ball into left field, allowing Lawson and Payne to score the game's winning runs.
With a one run lead after five and a half, starter Anthony Maupin held the line until he was relieved in the ninth inning. Maupin (7-5) worked 8.1 innings while picking up the win, allowing just six runs (five earned) on 12 hits. He displayed great command of his pitches as he struck out six and did not issue a single walk.
After giving up a one out single to Eastern Illinois' leadoff hitter, Maupin made way for Josh Parham out of the bullpen to close out the game. The junior southpaw came in to face the left-handed Mark Chagnon who was responsible for the game's only home run in the fifth inning. Chagnon popped out on the infield, and Parham picked up his third save of the year.
On the other side, the Panthers' Alex Guttosch (5-1) was nabbed for his first loss of the season after he was responsible for three of Southeast's four runs in the sixth. The sophomore allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in 2.2 innings of relief work.
Pritchett was one of three batters who touched off for three hits on Wednesday. Padilla extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a 3-6 showing, including a double a run scored. He has recorded at least two base knocks in seven of his last eight games, and he leads the team with 22 multi-hit games.
Levi Olson was also 3-6 with a double and run scored in the contest. In all, the Redhawks banged out 14 hits in the fist round victory.
The win for Southeast marked the first time since 2002 that they claimed a victory in their first game in the OVC baseball tournament. In 2002, they defeated Morehead State 9-6 in round one and eventually claimed the OVC title and an NCAA Regional berth with a 13-1 victory over Tennessee Tech in the championship game.
The Redhawks look to repeat some of that history as they advance to round two in the winner's bracket. They will play the top-seeded Samford Bulldogs at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, Ky. beginning at 6:30 p.m. The round two match-up can be heard live on the radio at 1220 KGIR or via the Internet at www.kgir.com. Live statistics for the entire 2006 O'Reilly OVC Baseball Tournament are available at www.ovcsports.com.