Redbirds Top Memphis, Win Season Opener, 5-2
February 15, 2013
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Illinois State pitching staff tallied 13 strike outs to just one walk and four different Redbirds drove in runs as Illinois State (1-0) won its season-opener, 5-2, at Memphis (0-1) Friday night. The Redbirds erased a pair of one-run deficits in the win.
Senior starter Brad Sorkin (1-0) worked six innings and allowed two runs, one earned, with six strikeouts and no walks to earn the victory. Memphis starter Sam Moll (0-1) was chased from the game in the fifth inning and finished with four-plus innings pitched, with three runs allowed on five hits. In relief, freshman Will Headean faced the minimum over two innings and struck out the first five batters he faced. Chris Razo (1) tallied his first career-save with a scoreless ninth inning that included two strikeouts.
Eric Aguilera paced the offense with a pair of RBI singles and Mike Hollenbeck, Zac Johnson, and Sean Beesley also collected RBI. Three Redbirds reached base at least three times in the win as the Redbirds out-hit Memphis, 11-10.
Memphis scored first, rallying for one run on three hits in the opening frame. Zack Willis, who reached on a one out walk, scored when Drew Griffin grounded out to a diving Joe Kelch.
Illinois State tied the game in the third inning. Kelch led off the frame with a hit-by-pitch and scored on Aguilera's two-out RBI single. Memphis took the lead again in the bottom of the third as Willis opened the frame with a single, stole second and scored on an error from Chad Hinshaw, the first of Hinshaw's four-year Illinois State career. It would be the last run of the night scored by Memphis.
A two-run fifth inning gave Illinois State the lead for good. Brett Kay, Johnson and Aguilera opened the inning with singles, with Aguilera's scoring Kay and chasing Moll from the game. Two batters later, Mike Hollenbeck's RBI-single off Craig Caufield plated Johnson to give ISU the 3-2 lead.
Sorkin worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning and retired six-of-the-last-eight batters he faced to earn the win. Will Headean, making his collegiate debut, struck out the side in the seventh inning and retired the first two batters in the eighth via strike out before inducing a groundout to end the inning.
Illinois State added two runs in the ninth. Johnson singled home Kay from first and Beesley collected his first career RBI and hit, plating Kyle Stanton to cap the scoring.
Razo issued a leadoff walk before retiring the last three batters he faced for his first career save.
Game two of the three-game series will take place Saturday at 2:00 p.m. from FedExPark. Illinois State sophomore Dylan Craig will face Memphis lefty Eric Schoenrock.
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