Illinois State Beats Bradley to Sweep Series
April 17, 2011
PEORIA, Ill. - Mike Hollenbeck with 3-for-3 with a team-best three RBI and a run scored, as Illinois State beat Bradley, 12-7, Sunday afternoon at O'Brien field in Peoria, Ill. The Redbirds swept the three-game Missouri Valley Conference series, with ISU (24-10, 4-2 MVC) outscoring Bradley (19-15, 1-5 MVC), 28-10, during the weekend set.
"We were able to get back to playing our style of baseball this weekend," ISU head coach Mark Kingston said. "We saw everything come together. Our offense, defense, base-running and pitching all came to the forefront this weekend. When we swing the bats as well as we did, combined with our quality pitching, we put ourselves in the position to do some good things."
Justin Hauer (2-0) earned Sunday's victory, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter JD Learnard who allowed four runs on seven hits through the first 4.2 innings. Kenny Long pitched the final two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and striking out two. Kevin Tokarski extended his hitting streak to 13-consecutive games, with a 2-for-4 effort.
Bradley scored the game's first run in the first inning, with a Brad Kimball single that drove in Rob Elliott. Illinois State responded in the second, as Hollenbeck doubled-home Tyler McNeely. The Redbirds scored two more runs in the third inning, beginning with a Zach Amrein RBI single that plated Ryan Court. Then, for the second time in the game, Hollenbeck drove in McNeely with a single.
The Braves tied the game in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run by Kimball. The Redbirds pulled ahead again in the fifth inning with two more runs, including an Amrein groundout that scored Court, and a Chad Hinshaw RBI single that drove in McNeely. Bradley answered in the bottom of the frame, as Kimball plated Elliot with a single. Bradley had a chance to either tie the game or take the lead with the bases loaded in the fifth, but Hauer came in to strike out Brian Martin for the final out, forcing the Braves to strand the maximum on base.
Illinois State took control in the sixth inning, scoring six times. McNeely singled-in Tokarski, Matt Mirabal doubled-home McNeely and Bryan Huff, Hollenbeck scored Mirabal with a single, Hinshaw hit a single to plate Hollenbeck, and Josh Colon singled-in Hinshaw.
The Braves trimmed their deficit in the seventh inning with one run on a hit by Austin Jarvis that scored Jerrod Eigsti, but the Redbirds regained a seven-run lead in the eighth with a Colon sacrifice fly that drove in Mirabal. Bradley's final two runs scored in the eighth inning, as Martin came home on a throwing error charged to Mirabal, and David Compitello scored on a fielder's choice hit into by Eigsti.
Illinois State looks to win its fourth-straight game Tuesday when the Redbirds host Illinois for a 4:30 p.m. first pitch at Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Ill. Admission to the event is free with a "Pack the Park" coupon or fans can text the keyword PACK to 71857 for a free ticket, which will be sent to their cellular phone. The first 75 fans in attendance will receive a Redbird foam finger, compliments of Redbird Athletics.
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