Redbird Pitching Keys Finale Win at Belmont
Feb. 20, 2011
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Freshman right-hander Dan Savas earned the win in his first collegiate start, leading the Redbirds to a 3-1, series finale victory at Belmont Sunday afternoon. Savas pitched six innings, allowing just one run on two hits, striking out four and walking one. The Redbirds (2-2) split the season-opening series with the Bruins (2-2).
"To see Dan, a freshman, in the heat of the battle have that kind of composure and that kind of poise is very encouraging," head coach Mark Kingston said. "His stuff was very good, and he really picked us up today and got us a big win."
Zach Amrein drove in two of ISU's three runs on a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Tyler McNeely drove in the other run, finishing the weekend with a team-high six RBI. Ryan Court, who went 1-for-3 with one run scored Sunday, led the Redbird offense in the four-game series, going 5-for-10 with two RBI and two runs scored on three doubles against Belmont.
Illinois State scored the game's first run in the second inning. Court led off the frame by doubling to left center field. He then advanced to third base on a wild pitch and McNeely drove Court home on a ground ball to the shortstop. Savas held Belmont scoreless until the fifth inning, when Vinny Casha hit a solo home run to tie the game.
The Redbirds regained the lead in the top of the sixth. Kevin Tokarski led off the frame with a single, and Chad Hinshaw bunted and Matt Mirabal grounded out to advance Tokarski to third base. Amrein then plated Tokarski, hitting an RBI single through the left side.
The Bruins threatened again in the seventh inning, placing runners on second and third with one out, but reliever Kenny Long induced a lineout and a strikeout to pull the Redbirds out of the jam. ISU added an insurance run in the top of the eighth as Amrein doubled in Tokarksi, to put ISU ahead, 3-1.
Long earned the save, pitching 2.2 shutout innings, allowing three hits, and striking out a game-high five batters. Freshman left-hander James Buckelew suffered the loss for Belmont.
The Redbirds return to Tennessee on Friday, Feb. 25-27 for a three-game series in Clarkville, Tenn. ISU will play the first game against Austin Peay, and the second two against Milwaukee.
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