ISU Baseball Claims Valley Opener, 5-4
April 8, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - Senior Ryan Court drove home a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to give Illinois State its first lead, one the Redbirds would never relinquish, while senior Corey Maines came out on top in the pitching duel, as the Redbirds posted a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Creighton in the Missouri Valley Conference opener Friday at Duffy Bass Field.
The Redbirds improved to 21-7 on the season, while Creighton fell to 20-7. Maines posted his sixth win of the year, without a defeat, out-dueling the Bluejays' Ty Blach, who also entered the game with a perfect 5-0 mark. Creighton's Chase Webb took the loss, as the Redbirds had their way with the Bluejays' middle relief staff.
Creighton opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run by Trever Adams, his eighth of the season. The Bluejays added to their lead with another run in the second frame, but the run was unearned due to a fielding error by ISU shortstop Josh Colon.
The Redbirds took advantage of a pair of base on balls to start the bottom half of the fifth inning, as David Fallon drove home Mike Hollenbeck with an RBI single and ISU trailed, 3-1. Creighton pushed the lead back to three runs in the top of the fourth when Chance Ross singled to move Alex Staehely to third base. However a throwing error by Colon allowed Staehely to score on the play.
Illinois State chased out Blach in the sixth inning, but Zach Amrein had the hit of the inning with a double to right-centerfield which plated both Tyler McNeely and Court to make the score, 4-3. The Redbirds took the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh when Court singled home both Kevin Tokarski and Fallon.
The Redbirds turned the ball over to Jacob Wielebnicki in the top of the eighth inning and he responded with his first save of his career. Wielebnicki pitched the final two innings and only allowed one hit, while striking out two and not allowing a walk.
Maines rebounded from a slow start and finished with seven strong innings of work. He surrendered five hits and four runs, two earned, while striking out nine and walking two. It marked his third-straight outing with nine or more strikeouts.
Court and Tokarski both paced the Redbirds with two hits apiece, while Creighton did not have a single player with more than one hit.
Illinois State and Creighton will be back in action Saturday at 2 p.m., at Duffy Bass Field.
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