Redbirds Drop Valley Opener, 12-1, to No. 15 Wichita State
March 22, 2008
NORMAL, Ill. - Junior Mike Stalowy batted 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored, but the Illinois State baseball team could only tally three total hits, as the Redbirds dropped their Missouri Valley Conference opener, 12-1, to No. 15 Wichita State in game one of a doubleheader Saturday at Duffy Bass Field. The Redbirds (9-6, 0-1 MVC) grabbed an early 1-0 lead after one inning, but the Shockers used two five-run innings to run-rule the Redbirds in seven innings of play.
Senior Kyle Cherney recorded the Redbirds' other hit in the game, as the Illinois State pitching staff surrendered 11 hits. Junior Jim Sajewich (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as he gave up six runs on eight hits in only three innings of work. Wichita State (12-3, 1-0 MVC) was backed by a solid pitching performance by left-hander Rob Musgrave, who threw a complete-game. Musgrave allowed only four base runners all day, as he gave up one run on three hits and one walk, while striking out eight.
After Sajewich worked his way out of a jam in the first inning, the Redbirds got on the board in the bottom half of the frame. Stalowy led off with a double, and moved to third base on a sacrifice from freshman Kevin Tokarski. Stalowy then scored on wild pitch; however, Musgrave settled back in and retired the next two batters to end the threat.
Wichita State evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the second, as catcher Tyler Weber hit a solo home run deep over the left field wall.
The Shockers grabbed a comfortable lead (6-1) in the top of the third inning, as the first six batters of the inning reached base. The Shockers put five runs on the board on five hits, highlighted by a two-run home run from centerfielder Andy Dirks.
The Redbirds threatened in the fourth, as junior Kevin Dubler led off with a walk, and Cherney moved him into scoring position on a single to left field. But Musgrave was able to get out the jam, retiring the next two batters on a strikeout and a groundout. Wichita State added another run in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly from designated hitter Clinton McKeever.
WSU added five more runs in the top of the sixth, on RBI from left fielder Kenny Williams Jr., third baseman Conor Gillaspie and shortstop Dusty Coleman. Musgrave maintained his control, and retired the Redbirds in order in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to finish the game.