Austin Peay Slugs Past Redbirds in Opener, 9-6
Feb. 17, 2012
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - Matt Mirabal started his senior season with a 3-for-5 effort including one RBI and one run, but Austin Peay's offense overpowered Illinois State in a 9-6 season-opening loss to the Governors Friday night at Raymond C. Hand Park. The Redbirds fall to 0-1 on the season ahead of Saturday's double-header, which is now scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. because of predicted rain.
Zac Johnson had a team-high two RBI in a 1-for-5 performance, while Kevin Tokarski went 1-for-4 and scored a team-best two runs. Illinois State's bullpen was strong, as Ryan Camp, Justin Hauer and Kenny Long allowed one hit and no runs through the final four innings. Austin Peay scored all nine of its runs against Redbird starter Chris Razo (0-1), who struck out three.
"Early in the season, we've talked about how being on the road and playing outside for the first time, we expect some bumps in the road," Illinois State head baseball coach Mark Kingston said. "That being said, I was really encouraged by our defense, we did well controlling the running game, and our offense scored six runs, which was good. We hate to lose, but I saw a lot of good things today."
Austin Peay was led by Greg Bachman's six RBI on a 3-for-5 performance with one run. Reed Harper went 4-for-5 with three runs and one RBI. Casey Delgado (1-0) earned the win after allowing four earned runs on four hits through five innings.
The Governors led the entire game, beginning in the first inning with a three-run home run by Bachman. Illinois State responded in the second thanks to a sacrifice by Brock Stewart to drive in Mike Hollenbeck. Austin Peay scored three more runs in the bottom of the frame, as Harper drove in one run with a single, and Bachman hit a single to plate two more.
A four-run third inning pulled the Redbirds within one run. Mirabal scored Tokarksi with a double, and Johnson drove home Mirabal and Ty Weisemeyer with a single. Hollenbeck capped off the scoring with a double that plated Johnson.
Austin Peay scored three more times, with a double by Bachman and a two-run home run by Tyler Childress. The Redbirds loaded the bases in the seventh inning, and Kyle Stanton was hit by a pitch to force in a run. In the eighth inning, with two runners on base, Eric Aguilera just missed a home run that would have tied the game, but instead, Austin Peay centerfielder Michael Blanchard caught the ball and doubled-off Brett Kay.
After the season-opening loss, Illinois State returns to Raymond C. Hand Park Saturday for two seven-inning games beginning at 11 a.m. Both can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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