ISU Rallies to Sweep Doubleheader at SEMO
March 3, 2012
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Illinois State scored 11-unanswered runs to beat Southeast Missouri in 10 innings, 13-11, to clinch a doubleheader sweep after topping the Redhawks, 8-2, in the first game Saturday at Capaha Park. The Redbirds (6-3) have won six-straight games ahead of Sunday's series finale at SEMO (5-6).
"I think today's games speak to what this team is made of," Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "We've spent a lot of hours in the weight room, and as I told the team, you start to get rewarded for your effort. If you invest in putting in the time and work, you'll have days like today where you just don't give up and you don't give in."
Ty Wiesemeyer led ISU in the double-header with a 6-for-11 effort, including a team-best six RBI. He also drove in the tying run and the go-ahead run in the Redbirds' come-from-behind, extra-inning evening victory. Jeremy Rhoades (1-0) earned the game-two win after pitching three shutout innings of relief with five strikeouts, while Kenny Long notched ISU's first save of the season by throwing a scoreless, hitless 10th inning. Chris Razo (1-1) won the opening game, after pitching five innings with six strikeouts and one run on three hits.
In game one, the Redbirds took the lead in the fourth inning with a single by Kyle Stanton. Illinois State added another in the fifth, as Kevin Tokarski reached on a fielder's choice that allowed a run to score. After the Redhawks plated their first run in the bottom of the inning, ISU responded with a four-run sixth. Stanton drove in a run with a single, Mike Hollenbeck sacrificed-home a run, and Eric Aguilera hit a two-run home run. SEMO scored once more in the seventh, before the Redbirds plated two in the ninth inning on a sacrifice by Stanton and a single by Hollenbeck to secure the win.
In game two, Southeast Missouri took an early 2-0 lead, before the Redbirds responded with a Tokarski RBI single in the second. The Redhawks answered with another run in the bottom of the inning, followed by three more in the third. A fifth-inning RBI single by Aguilera pulled ISU within 6-2, but SEMO blew the game open in the bottom of the frame. The Redhawks scored five times, thanks to a Shane Blair grand slam and a walked-in run with the bases loaded.
Illinois State began its comeback in the sixth inning, with a seven-run frame. Matt Mirabal hit a solo home run, Aguilera singled-in a run, Brett Kay walked-home a run with the bases loaded, Tokarski singled-in a run, and Wiesemeyer drove home three runs with a double. ISU tied the game in the eighth on a Wiesemeyer two-RBI double, and the Redbirds took the lead in the 10th inning with a single by Wiesemeyer. A foul-out by Stanton allowed ISU to add an insurance run. The Illinois State pitching staff teamed up to shut out the Redhawks over the final five innings.
ISU and SEMO meet in the series finale Sunday, beginning at 1 p.m. The Redbirds will attempt to sweep their second-consecutive series, with live audio available on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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