Five Late Runs Propel Redbirds To 8-2 Win Over SIUE
March 16, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State senior third baseman Ryan Court collected three hits and drove in two runs to lead his team to an 8-2 non-conference win over in-state foe SIU-Edwardsville Wednesday at Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Ill.
Court was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI for the Redbirds (11-5), who won their season opener on their home field over the Cougars (4-12). Kevin Tokarski added three hits and scored a pair of runs and catcher Matt Mirabal collected two hits, scored a run and drove in a run to help ISU to the victory.
ISU starter JD Learnard was solid on the mound in his mid-week start and picked up his first win of the season. Learned pitched seven innings and gave up two runs, one of which was earned, and struck out six Cougar batters. Matt Werderitch and Jacob Wielebnicki each pitched a scoreless inning in relief to give the Redbirds their fourth win in five games. SIUE reliever Josh Hoguet suffered the loss for the Cougars, after he surrendered four runs on four hits in just one inning of relief.
The Redbirds jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI single to right field off the bat of Court which scored Tokarski from third base after he led off the game with a double. The Cougars knotted up the score at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when James Vasquez walked with two outs and then scored on a Devin Caldwell triple to right center field.
SIUE took the lead in the top of the fourth when Joel Greatting scored from second base on a fielding error by ISU right fielder Brock Stewart. However, the Redbirds would answer with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning when Court scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Tyler McNeely.
The score remained tied until the bottom of the sixth inning, when ISU scored on a RBI groundout by Mike Hollenbeck to take a 3-2 lead. ISU would not relinquish that lead for the rest of the game, as they scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and two more in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the victory.
The Redbirds continue their four-game homestand with a three-game weekend series against Austin Peay beginning Friday at 3 p.m.
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