Illinois State Drops First Two Games Against Missouri State
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April 14, 2012
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Illinois State stranded 27 runners on base through its first two games against Missouri State, and the Redbirds fell to the Bears, 14-4, and, 10-4, Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field. ISU is now 20-12 overall and 2-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference, while MSU is 27-10 and 6-2. Sunday's finale will now begin at noon because of anticipated rain.
"It was a tough day," Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "Missouri State is a really good team, and we needed to play perfect baseball to win those games, and we just didn't do that. We didn't pitch well enough, we didn't get the big hits, and we weren't as sharp defensively as we have been in the past."
The first game of the series resumed Saturday after it was suspended Friday night because of strong storms. Zac Johnson led Illinois State in game one with a 3-for-4 performance, including one run scored. Chris Razo (4-3) suffered the loss after pitching five innings, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits with four strikeouts. Missouri State's Nick Petree (7-2) earned the victory with 5.1 shutout innings of work and five strikeouts.
David Fallon, who was coming to bat when Friday's game was suspended, reached on an error to start Saturday's resumed contest. Fallon later scored Illinois State's first run when Chad Hinshaw grounded into a fielder's choice. Missouri State answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, but ISU added three in the seventh. Johnson led off the frame with a single and scored on a Kevin Tokarski double. Then a base hit by Mike Hollenbeck plated Tokarski and Eric Aguilera to cut the Bears' lead to 9-4. However, Missouri State scored five unanswered runs to take a 10 run lead, forcing the game's end in the bottom of the eighth because of the Valley's run rule.
In Saturday's regularly-scheduled game two, Ty Wiesemeyer led the Redbirds with a 2-for-5 performance, but starter Dylan Craig (4-2) suffered the loss after allowing six earned runs through five innings with six strikeouts. MSU's Cody Schumacher (4-0) was awarded the win following his 5.1 inning performance in which he gave up four earned runs on five hits with five strikeouts.
Illinois State took the early lead in game two, as Tokarski led off the inning with a walk and later scored when Matt Mirabal hit into a double play. However, Missouri State responded with five runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good. The Redbirds cut the Bears' advantage to 5-3 in the third inning with an RBI single by Aguilera and a fielder's choice groundout by Hollenbeck. The Bears proceeded to score one run in the fourth, and ISU plated one in the sixth on a Wiesemeyer RBI single. But Missouri State answered with two in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh to secure the win.
The Redbirds will try to salvage the three-game series Sunday with the finale scheduled to begin at noon. Live coverage of the game can be heard on WHOW 1520 AM / 92.3 FM.
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