Six Late Runs Lead Redbirds Past the Aces 7-1
May 20, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - Pitching dominated the first six innings of Illinois State's game Friday against Evansville, but six late runs by the Redbirds (34-16, 12-8 MVC) propelled them to a win in the second game of their weekend series against the Purple Aces (28-22, 7-12) by a score of 7-1 at Duffy Bass Field.
A two-run home run by Brett Kay and a three-run triple by Chad Hinshaw helped the Redbirds score six runs in the final two innings to pick up the victory. ISU reliever Justin Hauer was credited with the win (4-1) in relief of starter Dan Savas, who allowed just one run on three hits while striking out four batters in six innings of work. Hauer allowed just one hit in a scoreless seventh inning and Jake Wielebnicki and Kenny Long each tossed a scoreless inning after that to close out the game. Evansville starter Cole Isom (5-6) suffered the loss, after allowing four runs on five hits in seven innings on the mound.
After four scoreless innings by both squads, Evansville put the first tally on the scoreboard with a run in the top of the fifth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Shawn Kuester led off the inning with a double to right-center field and later advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Trentt Copeland. Eric Stamets followed and hit a deep fly to right field, which was deep enough to score Kuester on the sacrifice fly.
The Redbirds answered in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own to knot the score at 1-1. Brock Stewart led off the inning and appeared to go down on strikes, but a wild pitch on the third strike allowed him to advance to first base. Zach Amrein then reached base on a fielding error by Copeland that allowed Stewart to move all the way to third base. Stewart then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Matt Mirabal to even things up heading into the sixth inning.
ISU later broke the game open with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a three-run lead. Stewart doubled to left-center field to lead off the inning and advanced to third base on a single by Amrein. Stewart then scored and Amrein moved to second base on another sacrifice bunt by Mirabal to make the score 2-1 in favor of ISU. Kay followed and launched a two-run home run over the left field wall to plate Amrein and extend the Redbirds' lead to 4-1 after seven innings of play. The home run was the first of Kay's career.
Illinois State tacked on three more runs for good measure in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the game away. Ryan Court singled up the middle to start things off and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Huff. Amrein then fouled out for the second out of the inning, before Mirabal and Kay loaded the bases on back-to-back walks. Hinshaw followed and cleared the bases on a two-out triple off the left field wall to score all three runs and give the `Birds a six-run lead at 7-1.
The two teams will wrap up their three-game series Saturday at 1 p.m., with JD Learned (7-2) set to take the mound for the Redbirds.
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