Redbirds Slam Past Tennessee Tech, 28-2
Feb. 26, 2012
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Illinois State hit seven home runs, including two grand slams, to beat Tennessee Tech, 28-2, Sunday afternoon at Bush Stadium. With the win, the Redbirds (4-3) swept the three-game series against the Golden Eagles (1-6).
"Once again, we played a complete game," Illinois State head baseball coach Mark Kingston said. "We had no errors, so our defense was really good. We only gave up two runs, so our pitching was excellent. And our 28 runs show that our offense had a tremendous day."
Four Redbirds had three or more hits in the winning effort. Brett Kay went a team-best 5-for-5 with a team-high four runs scored. Zac Johnson tallied a team-best six RBI. Johnson and Kyle Stanton both hit grand slams in the winning-effort. Dylan Craig (1-0) earned the victory for the Redbirds after pitching five shutout innings with five strikeouts and just four hits allowed.
Tennessee Tech starter Jacob McWhirter (0-2) pitched one inning, allowed five earned runs and suffered the loss. Zach Stephens led the Golden Eagle offense with a 3-for-5 effort, including one RBI and one run.
Illinois State took an early 5-0 lead in the first inning with a solo home run by Kevin Tokarski, a double by Stanton and a three-run homer by Eric Aguilera. In the third inning, Ty Wiesemeyer grounded out to drive in a run, and Kay and Tokarski collected RBI singles. Hollenbeck doubled-in another run in the fourth inning to increase ISU's advantage to 9-0.
The Redbirds scored three more times in the fifth inning. Matt Mirabal sacrificed-home a run, and Johnson singled-in two. ISU plated 10 runs in the sixth, with two outs. Mirabal walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. Then, Stanton hit a grand slam, Mike Hollenbeck hit a two-run home run and Kay hit a three-run blast.
The Golden Eagles scored their first and only two runs of the game in the eighth inning. Stephens hit a solo homer and Austin Wulf sacrificed-home another run. Illinois State added six more runs in the ninth with a leadoff Wiesemeyer home run, a walk drawn by Anthony Galli that forced-home a run, followed by a Johnson grand slam.
ISU's 28 runs are the most the Redbirds have scored since beating James Madison, 29-8, Mar. 14, 2010. Illinois State has now scored 56 runs over its past four games. The Redbirds continue non-conference play Friday at Southeast Missouri starting at 3 p.m. ISU is scheduled to play a four-game series against the Redhawks.
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