Redbirds Open Series with 8-2 win over Northern Iowa
April 17, 2009
WATERLOO, Iowa - Illinois State used timely hitting and a settled down Ryan Camp top Northern Iowa, 8-2, in the first game of a Missouri Valley Conference series at Riverfront Stadium Friday night.
The Redbirds (17-12, 7-4 MVC) scored seven of their eight runs with two outs and Camp shrugged off a rough first inning to throw 5.2 scoreless frames as Illinois State improved to 5-0 in Camp's Valley starts. Tyler McNeely and Mike Stalowy both had two hits and an RBI, and Corey Maines hit a two-run home run to add insurance runs in the eighth, as the Redbirds collected nine total hits.
The Panthers (15-19, 3-10 MVC) tagged Camp for two runs on three hits in the first inning, but the freshman right-hander gave up just one more hit in the final 5.2 innings. Camp faced the minimum in the fourth through sixth innings and got two out in the seventh before being replaced by Kyle Nelson. Nelson fanned three batters in 2.1 hitless innings to earn his second save of the season.
The Redbirds plated four runs in a bizarre second inning. Gabe DeMarco hit a ball to the wall in right centerfield with two runners on and one out and confusion arose as Deric Manrique crashed into the wall and appeared to make a catch. The Panthers threw the ball in and thought they had doubled off one of the Redbirds' base runners, but after several arguments - including questioning the catch - the ball was ruled a sacrifice fly and Anthony Ruffolo scored from third. Maines walked and three consecutive Redbird base hits led to three more runs.
Illinois State scored five runs - four earned - off of UNI ace Nick Kirk. Kirk matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts.
Leading 5-2, Illinois State added three more runs in the eighth inning on an RBI double off the wall by Matt Mirabal and Maines' two-run blast to right center. It was Maines' team-best third home run of the season.
The Redbirds and Panthers will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m., due to expected rainy conditions on Sunday.