Razo Pitches Redbirds Past Maine in RussMatt Opener
March 9, 2012
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Illinois State right-hander Chris Razo limited Maine to one run on four hits through seven innings, and the Redbirds beat Maine, 7-1, Friday afternoon in ISU's first game at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational at Chain of Lakes Park.
Illinois State (8-3) has won eight-straight games, which signifies ISU's longest winning streak since 1987. Maine dropped to 4-7, and starter Stephen Perakslis (0-2) suffered the loss after pitching 6.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on eight hits.
"I thought Razo did a great job today matching Perakslis, pitch-for-pitch," Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "Razo's breaking ball was outstanding today. He pitched as well as he has all year, and he put us in a position to win the game."
Eight different Redbirds had hits in an offensively-balanced game. Chad Hinshaw and Matt Mirabal both collected a game-best two RBI, while Zac Johnson and Ty Wiesemeyer hit ISU's first two triples of the season.
Following two scoreless innings to start the game, Maine scored first in the third with a groundout by Troy Black that plated Justin Leisenheimer. Illinois State tied the game in the fifth inning with a single by Hinshaw that allowed Mike Hollenbeck to slide home safely ahead of an attempted tag.
The Redbirds took the lead in the sixth, as Wiesemeyer tripled down the right field line to lead off, and Mirabal drove him home with a sacrifice fly. ISU added three more runs in the seventh on a two-RBI double by Tokarski and an RBI-single by Mirabal.
Maine proceeded to load the bases with just one out in the seventh, but Kenny Long pitched out of the jam without surrendering a run. Long closed out the game to earn his second save of the season. Then in the eighth inning, Eric Aguilera scored from third on a wild pitch and Hinshaw drove in Brett Kay with a sacrifice fly to secure the victory.
Illinois State continues competition at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational against Western Michigan Saturday at 5 p.m. CT. Live coverage of the game will be available on WEZC 95.9 FM and GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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