Redbirds Walk-Off with Sweep over Cougars
May 17, 2009
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State's last game at Duffy Bass Field ended just like its first - with a walk-off base hit. Illinois State senior Mike Stalowy drove in Cole Marty with a single through the right side in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Redbirds to a 4-3 win, and a sweep, over SIU-Edwardsville Sunday afternoon.
Stalowy, who was honored along with four other seniors prior the game, collected his only hit and RBI of the game with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Anthony Ruffolo, Ryan Court and Evan Kohli each had two hits for the Redbirds, who finished the regular season 24-21. Both of Kohli's hits were doubles off the centerfield wall and he drove in two runs.
The Cougars (14-36) scored a run in the top of the first and starting pitcher Dustin Quattrocchi held Illinois State to one hit through four innings. The Redbirds evened the tally in the bottom of the fifth on a single up the middle by Quinn Ewert after Kohli's first double of the game.
Illinois State figured Quattrocchi out in the seventh and chased him from the game with three consecutive hits. Ruffolo and Court each singled and scored on Kohli's second double of the game to make it 3-1. Aren Cummings put an end to the ISU outburst despite loading the bases.
Redbird starter Corey Maines scattered six hits over five innings and was tagged with just the lone run in the first. Kenny Long pitched two scoreless innings of relief before giving up two runs and the lead in the eighth. Jim Sajewich relieved Long and worked out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, then retired the Cougars in the ninth to set up the dramatic finish in the bottom half.
Cole Marty led off the ninth with a single through the left side off Andrew Beatty and Collin Salzenstein was hit by a pitch before Scott Spinelle was summoned from the SIU-E bullpen. Justin Rahn struck out on a failed bunt attempt with two strikes but Stalowy delivered the game winner in the next at-bat.
Chilos Norris and Brent Rynearson both had three hits for the Cougars in the loss. SIU-E outhit the Redbirds 11-9.
Redbird skipper Jim Brownlee was also recognized in a pre-game ceremony. Brownlee will retire at the end season, after 30 years as a collegiate head coach.
Illinois State, seeded sixth, will open the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament against top-seeded Missouri State at Eck Stadium in Wichita, Kan. at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The Redbirds will take on No. 2 seed Indiana State Thursday at 3 p.m. before playing tournament host and No. 3 seed Wichita State at 7 p.m. Friday.