Redbirds Fall in Extra Innings at Miami
JD Learnard pitched 5.1 innings, striking out three.
JD Learnard pitched 5.1 innings, striking out three.

March 8, 2011

Final Stats Post-Game Interview

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - After Illinois State jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Miami, the Hurricanes scored five unanswered runs to beat the Redbirds, 5-4, in eleven innings Tuesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park in Miami, Fla. Mike Hollenbeck led the Redbirds (7-4) with a 2-for-4 effort, including one run scored. Ronny Rodriguez paced Miami (5-7), going 4-for-6 with the game-winning, walk-off home run.

"I love the fact that we battled hard and took Miami to extra innings," head coach Mark Kingston said. "It's just disappointing that we didn't execute a little better, because that's a game that we really could have won."

Illinois State scored first, in the first inning. Matt Mirabal reached on a walk and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Zach Amrein then reached on an error, allowing Mirabal to advance to third. Mirabal proceeded to score from third on a wild pitch to Ryan Court. The Hurricanes tried to answer in the bottom of the inning as Shane Rowland attempted to score on a single by Rodriguez. However, a strong throw by ISU leftfielder Tyler McNeely helped Mirabal tag out the runner at home, ending the inning.

ISU scored two more runs in the fourth inning, on a two-RBI single by Mirabal, which drove in Josh Colon and Hollenbeck. The Redbirds added another run in the top of the fifth, after Ty Wiesemeyer hit a two-out double and later scored on a wild pitch.

Miami finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly hit by Harold Martinez. However, Redbird starter JD Learnard struck out the remaining two batters, forcing the Hurricanes to strand two. Miami scored twice more in the sixth inning on a wild pitch and a Rowland single. Learnard exited after giving up the hit. The sophomore right-hander finished the game with 5.1 innings pitched, allowing three runs and striking out three.

Jacob Wielebnicki came on in relief, pitching one inning, allowing the tying run to score on a single by Stephen Perez. Closer Kenny Long pitched the remainder of the game, going 4.1 innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six. However, Long gave up the winning run in the bottom of the eleventh inning, on Rodriguez's solo, walk-off home run.

Long (2-1) suffered the loss, while Miami's Daniel Miranda (1-0) earned the win. ISU is now 0-4 in its all-time series against Miami.

The Redbirds finish their two-game series against the Hurricanes Wednesday, at 5 p.m. CT.

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