Redbirds Cash In on Missouri State Miscues; Win 8-3
May 8, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State scored its first four runs without a single base hit and that was all pitchers JD Learnard and Kenny Long needed, as the Redbirds avoided the series sweep to Missouri State with an 8-3 win Sunday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field.
Leanard claimed the win for the Redbirds improving his mark to 6-2 on the season, while Illinois State jumped to 28-15 on the campaign and 8-7 in Valley play. Learnard pitched 6.1 innings allowing eight hits and three runs, while striking out two and walking four. Missouri State fell to 27-18 and 8-6, respectively, and finished the game with four errors.
In the bottom of the first, ISU leadoff hitter Chad Hinshaw was hit by a 2-1 pitch. Following an out by Josh Colon, Hinshaw stole second. The caught stealing attempt by the Bears ended up in centerfield where MSU's Aaron Conway also lost the handle. The double error resulted in Hinshaw crossing home plate and giving the Redbirds a 1-0 lead.
The gifts kept coming for the Redbirds in the third inning, as Illinois State took a 2-0 lead following three base on balls and an error by MSU pitcher Grant Gordon on a fielder's choice. The Redbirds added two more runs in the inning, as Hinshaw scored following a passed ball and Colon scored on Ryan Court's groundout to the shortstop.
With the Redbirds leading 4-0, Missouri State closed the gap with two runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth. The Illinois State offense responded with four-straight hits by Colon, Kevin Tokarski, Tyler McNeely and Court to score two runs and take a 6-3 lead.
Court belted two more RBI, one in the sixth inning and another in the eighth, for the final margin. In the sixth, Court singled home Tokarski with a smash up the middle, while in the eighth he plated McNeely with a triple to the gap in right-centerfield.
Court and McNeeley each finished with three hits apiece, while Court led the team with three RBI. The top three batters in the ISU lineup, Hinshaw, Colon and Tokarski, accounted for six of the eight Redbird runs with two runs scored each.
Long did not earn the save for the Redbirds, but the senior was highly effective out of the bullpen. Long pitched 2.2 innings and only allowed one hit, while striking out three. Gordon took the loss for the Missouri State and drops to 3-5 on the year.
Illinois State will be back in action Wednesday, as the Redbirds travel to Eastern Illinois for a midweek non-conference clash. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
GoRedbirds.com: Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.