Heilenbach Nearly Perfect, Blanks Webster, 10-0
AUDIO: Coach Kingston Postgame Interview
NORMAL, Ill. – Freshman starter Steve Heilenbach was three outs away from a perfect game in his first collegiate start and fired a shutout as Illinois State (29-16, 9-3 MVC) blanked Webster (29-8, 20-1 SLIAC), 10-0, in seven innings Wednesday night at Duffy Bass Field. The Redbirds have now won 10 in a row and have thrown eight complete-games this season.
Heilenbach (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, retiring the first 18 batters he faced. After allowing a leadoff pinch-hit single to open the seventh inning, he retired the next three batters to finish the run-rule victory for the Redbirds. Heilenbach needed just 70 pitches to secure the win, finishing with seven innings, no runs, one hit, three strike outs and no walks. He lowered his ERA to 0.55 with the win.
Offensively, Chad Hinshaw tallied three hits and three runs scored, Kyle Stanton added two hits and three RBI and Illinois State completed its second-consecutive run-rule victory over a NCAA Division III program.
The Redbirds jumped on the board in the first inning, scoring on a Stanton sacrifice-fly. In the third, Hinshaw clubbed a RBI-double and Zac Johnson added a sacrifice-fly, extending the Redbirds lead to 3-0 after three innings.
Following a scoreless fourth, the Redbirds collected a two-out rally that blew the game open. Nine straight batters connected on hits, with Johnson, Eric Aguilera, Stanton, Paul DeJong and Brock Stewart collecting RBI. Webster starter Dylan Dean Smith (4-1) did not make it out of the fifth, and finished with seven runs, all earned, in 4.2 innings of work.
Illinois State added one more run in the sixth when Stanton drove home Hinshaw to make it 10-0 Redbirds.
The Redbirds played error-free defense and Kay made a number of defensive highlights.
No pitcher on record has tallied a complete game in the 112 seasons of Illinois State baseball.
The Redbirds return to action Friday night for a three-game Missouri Valley Conference series against Creighton. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m.
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