Redbirds Sweep UTPA; Irish Classic Tournament Field
March 14, 2009
SAN ANTONIO - Illinois State used a combined shutout from Corey Maines and Matt Werderitch in the first game, five scoreless innings from its bullpen in the second game, and plenty of offense in both to sweep Texas-Pan American, 9-0 and 10-2, in the Irish Baseball Classic at Wolff Stadium Saturday. The Redbirds finished a perfect, 4-0 run through the tournament field that included Trinity and host Notre Dame.
Maines scattered four hits and one walk over seven scoreless innings and Werderitch didn't allow a hit in two innings of relief to give Illinois State (8-5) its first shutout victory of the season in game one. Maines improved to 3-1 on the season while striking out five Broncs (3-13).
The Redbirds gave Maines plenty of wiggle room, scoring two runs in the second and third innings and adding three more in the fifth. Illinois State led 8-0 before Werderitch was called on to close out the game. Werderitch walked the first two batters he faced but rallied to record six consecutive outs and seal the win.
Illinois State belted three triples in the first game, one each for Tyler McNeely, Mike Stalowy and Matt Mirabal. Stalowy finished the game 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Anthony Ruffolo went 2-for-2 with three runs batted in.
In game two, Texas-Pan American used three consecutive singles and a throwing error by the Redbirds to push across two runs against Illinois State starter Quinn Ewert before the first out was recorded. Ewert escaped further harm in the first and pitched three scoreless innings before the Redbird bullpen took over.
The Redbirds responded to the UTPA outburst in the first inning with a three run second inning and added three more in the third to build a 6-2 lead. Illinois State scored two more runs in each of the seventh and eighth innings to further extend its lead.
Five Redbirds finished game two with multiple hits, including Collin Salzenstein, who led all players by going 3-for-4. Salzenstein was also among five Illinois State hitters who collected multiple RBI, joining Ruffolo, Maines, Mirabal, and Eric Mahler with two.
Saturday's contests capped an eight-game, spring break trip for the Redbirds that saw the team go 6-2. Illinois State opens Missouri Valley Conference play against Evansville next weekend (March 20-22) in Normal, Ill.