Middle Innings Key in 5-3 Win Over Southern Illinois
Chad Hinshaw

Chad Hinshaw

May 5, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - Eric Aguilera's home run in the fourth inning and Redbird small ball in the fifth, lifted the Illinois State baseball team to a 5-3 victory in game two of the three-game home stand against Southern Illinois Saturday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field.

Zac Johnson reached first base on an error in the fourth inning, setting up the two-run blast by Aguilera, which put the Redbirds ahead, 2-1, heading into the fifth inning. However, Southern Illinois' Chris Serritella responded with a two-run home run of his own, putting Illinois State behind, 3-2.

Ty Wiesemeyer secured the Redbird-win with his go-ahead RBI in the fifth inning, giving Illinois State its second and final lead of the game. Johnson followed with a sac fly for his third RBI of the game, giving ISU a little cushion heading into the sixth.

Starter Dylan Craig (7-2) pitched five innings, allowing eight hits, three earned runs and a walk, while striking out two in the win for the Redbirds. Closer Kenny Long pitched the final two and a third innings, allowing just one hit, while striking out two. He picked up his ninth save of the season, which tied the single-season saves record that Long also matched in 2010. For Southern Illinois, starter Cameron Maldonado pitched just three and a third innings before leaving the game with shoulder pain. Matt Murphy (2-4) was credited with the loss after entering the game in relief for Maldonado.

Offensively, Mike Hollenbeck (3-for-4) and Kyle Stanton (2-for-4) each tallied a multi-hit game. Chad Hinshaw led the game off with a single, extending his on-base streak to 21 games. In total, seven different Redbirds picked up a hit in the win over the Salukis.

Illinois State will go for the series sweep tomorrow at 1 p.m. against Southern Illinois. The Redbirds invite fans to come to the game to celebrate BaseBald Day in support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation, which promotes childhood cancer research. Members of the team and coaching staff will shave their heads immediately following the game, after exceeding their $5,000 donation goal.

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