Copeland, Redbirds Shut Down Redhawks 8-2
March 10, 2007
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Freshman Ryan Copeland's first collegiate victory was one he had to claw for, as ISU went on to win a 12-10 decision over Arkansas. His second, however, was a bit easier as the Des Plaines, Ill., native controlled Saturday's entire contest with Southeast Missouri State (7-5) and cruised to a complete-game 8-2 victory for the Illinois State Redbirds (5-6) at Capaha Field.
Copeland (2-1) was stellar, as he allowed just five hits and one earned run in nine innings of work. He also struck out four SEMO batters while walking none to earn his second victory of the season. SEMO starter Josh Syberg (2-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing five earned runs in three innings of work.
Redbird head coach Jim Brownlee was excited about the way his young left-hander pitched on Saturday.
"This was Ryan's best game by far and he really got in their holes and hit his spots," said Brownlee. "When you throw strikes and don't walk anybody, you always give yourself a chance to win. The early runs relaxed him a little bit, and after the first inning he really settled down. We thought he might get the shutout, but regardless he pitched a great game and it was a good day all around."
The Redbirds jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on three hits. With one out in the inning, Matt Bolt lined a single into right field and Ryan Anetsberger followed with a walk to give ISU two base runners. After well-executed double steal moved the runners to second and third base, Kevin Dubler laced a single into centerfield to bring in both runs and give ISU the two-run advantage.
After a scoreless second inning, the `Birds would extend their lead to five runs via three runs on three hits. With Anetsberger on first base with one out, Jesse Griswold doubled down the third base line and advanced to third on the throw home as Anetsberger scored. Kevin Konsler continued his hot hitting and drove in Griswold courtesy of a single to center field to make the score 4-0. With two outs, Kyle O'Brien singled into center field and Konsler came around to score for the 5-0 lead when O'Brien got caught in a run-down trying to advance to second base.
SEMO would get one of those runs back in the bottom of the second inning on a solo home run over the left field wall by Daniel Schuh off Copeland, cutting the ISU lead to 5-1. ISU would then tack on one more run in the top of the fourth inning on an Anetsberger RBI single that scored Collin Salzenstein to widen the lead to 6-1.
ISU would add two more runs in top of the seventh inning on a Mike Tokarski two-run single to extend the Redbirds' lead to seven at 8-1. SEMO would add an unearned in the bottom of the ninth to cut into the ISU, but the Redbirds held on for the 8-2 victory. After giving up the home run in the third inning, Copeland retired the next nine batters until Omar Padilla singled in the sixth inning and retired 20 of the last 24 batters he saw.
Five Redbird players had two hits apiece, while Dubler and Tokarski led the way with two RBI apiece. Padilla had two of the five SEMO hits on the day and Matt Wagner added the only other RBI for the Redhawks. The two squads finish up the three-game weekend set tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Capaha Field. Senior Luke Baughman (0-1, 6.48 ERA) will take the mound for the Redbirds in search of the series sweep.