Redbirds Blow Past Hurricanes, 9-2
March 9, 2011
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Ten years after helping Miami win the College World Series as an assistant coach, Mark Kingston returned to Coral Gables, Fla., - this time as the opposing head coach - and led Illinois State to a 9-2 victory over the Hurricanes, Wednesday night at Alex Rodriguez Park. The Redbirds bounced back from Tuesday's loss by outhitting Miami 11-to-6 without committing an error.
"We played as well as we can possibly play," Kingston said. "We had five more hits than Miami, we played flawless defense, we ran the bases extremely well, and our pitchers, Dan Savas and Matt Werderitch, were outstanding."
After two scoreless innings, the Redbirds plated the game's first run in the third inning on a Tyler McNeely solo home run. The long-ball was McNeely's fourth of the season, which is a team-high. However, in the bottom of the fourth, Miami gained the lead with a two-RBI double by Harold Martinez.
Following a scoreless fifth inning, Mike Hollenbeck tied the game in the sixth with a double that drove in Matt Mirabal. McNeely then reached on a walk, and Bryan Huff - making his debut as a Redbird starter - plated Hollenbeck and Mirabal on a single to give ISU a 4-2 advantage.
The Redbirds added four more runs in the seventh, beginning with a Ryan Court ground rule double that scored Chad Hinshaw. Hollenbeck then singled, driving in Zach Amrein and allowing Court to score on a throwing error by the left fielder. Huff capped off the seventh inning with a sacrifice bunt that plated McNeely.
Back-to-back singles by Court and Hollenbeck, followed by back-to-back walks issued to McNeely and Huff, forced home Court to extend ISU's advantage to, 9-2.
Savas (2-0) earned the win, pitching six innings, striking out a career-high six batters, and allowing just two runs. Werderitch closed out the remaining three innings, shutting out the Hurricanes, and giving up just one hit. Miami's Javi Salas (0-2) suffered the loss.
ISU beat the Hurricanes for the first time in program history. The Redbirds still trail the all-time series, 1-4.
Illinois State wraps up its spring break road trip with three more games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. The Redbirds will play Ohio State, Friday at noon, Miami (Ohio), Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and North Dakota State, Sunday at noon.
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