Illinois State's 16 Unanswered Runs Top Illinois
March 27, 2012
NORMAL, Ill. -
Illinois State's Kevin Tokarski only collected one hit, but it was a fourth-inning grand slam that gave ISU the lead for good, and he finished with a game-high seven runs batted in, as the Redbirds scored 16 unanswered runs in a 16-7 non-conference victory over in-state rival Illinois Tuesday night at Duffy Bass Field.
Trailing 7-0 after two and a half innings, Illinois State (16-6) regrouped and plated 16 runs over five innings. The Redbirds took an 8-7 lead on Tokarski's grand slam, which marked his second home run of the season. With one out in the bottom of the fourth, after four-straight Redbird singles and a base on balls, Tokarski sent a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for the base-clearing home run.
Freshman Jeremy Rhoades came on in relief of ISU's Johnny Lieske and Ryan Camp and righted the ship. Rhoades pitched three innings of scoreless baseball to improve his record to 2-1 on the year. He only allowed two hits, while striking out four. ISU's Justin Hauer and Kenny Long kept the Illini scoreless in the late innings, as Illinois fell to 11-10 on the season.
Eric Aguilera led the Redbirds with three hits, while Ty Wiesemeyer, Matt Mirabal, Kyle Stanton and Bryan Huff each belted two apiece. Tokarski and Aguilera each scored three runs, while Tokarski moved into a tie for the all-time Illinois State career mark with 184 runs scored. He equaled the effort of Seth Von Behren, who played from 1997-2000 at Illinois State. Tokarski also stole his 100th career base with the Redbirds.
Illinois' starter John Kravetz suffered the loss and his record dropped to 3-2.
Illinois State is back in action on Friday for the first game of the three-game series at Indiana State, as the Redbirds open Missouri Valley Conference play.
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