Will Headean, Dan Savas and Brad Sorkin start this weekend for the 'Birds.
Feb. 28, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Looking to snap a four-game losing streak, the Illinois State baseball team makes its third and final weekend trip to Tennessee for a three-game series at Belmont, March 1-3. The opener between the Redbirds and Bruins is slated for 4:00 p.m. Friday from E.S. Rose Park.
After winning its season-opening series at Memphis, the Redbirds were swept last weekend at Austin Peay State University. The Governors won Friday, 9-6, and rallied around six Redbird errors for a, 9-4, come-from-behind victory Saturday. Austin Peay took the finale Sunday, 6-4, despite four hits from Redbird outfielder Eric Aguilera.
Belmont enters play winners of four-of-its-last- five games, including a pair of wins at Georgia last weekend. The Bruins also swept a home-and-away with Western Kentucky earlier this week.
The Redbirds are guided by fourth-year head coach Mark Kingston, who earned his 100th career victory in opening round action of the 2012 Missouri Valley Conference Championship. Kingston sports a 103-65 overall record.
The Bruins are managed by veteran head coach David Jarvis, who led Belmont to a 39-24 record last season. The Bruins won the Atlantic Sun Conference and are now first-year members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Illinois State is paced offensively by senior outfielder Eric Aguilera who leads the team in batting average (.458), on-base percentage (.462), slugging percentage (667), home runs (1), RBI (10) and total bases (16). Belmont has seven players hitting above .300 and Judah Akers leads the team in hits (11), home runs (2) and RBI (8).
After facing three right-handed starters last weekend at Austin Peay, Illinois State will see a two left-handers and one righty this weekend in Nashville. In the series-opener Friday, Illinois State throws true-freshman southpaw Will Headean (0-1, 1.42 ERA) versus Belmont starter Chase Brookshire (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Dan Savas (0-0, 2.89 ERA) makes his third Redbird start Saturday and will face right-hander Austin Coley (2-0, 2.38 ERA). Sunday, Brad Sorkin (1-1, 4.50 ERA) counters James Buckelew (1-0, 3.00 ERA).
This weekend's series will take place Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m, with all three games broadcast live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
The Opposition: Belmont Bruins (7-2, 0-0 Ohio Valley Conference)
Belmont University is located in Nashville, Tenn. The Bruins are first-year members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Belmont went 39-24 last year and won the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 17-10 conference record.
The Bruins were selected to finish second in the Ohio Valley Conference (behind Austin Peay State University), per the OVC preseason baseball poll.
The Bruins are coached by David Jarvis, who is in his 16th season at Belmont. Jarvis has posted a 441-393-1 mark at Belmont and has gone 765-545-1 in 25 seasons as a head coach.
Illinois State is 3-5 all-time versus Belmont.
Aguilera, Hinshaw Pace Offense at Austin Peay
Senior outfielder Eric Aguilera sparked the Illinois State offense last weekend at Austin Peay, leading the team in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentages versus the Governors. Aguilera went 8-for-13 and posted a slash-line of .615/.615/1.000 with one home run, two doubles, seven RBI and 13 total bases. He did not strike out and played error-free defense in right field.
Aguilera launched a three-run home run late in Friday's loss and went went 4-for-4 with two RBI Sunday.
Hinshaw went 4-for-13, batting .308/.400/.538 with one home run one RBI, six runs scored and seven total bases. Hinshaw was a perfect 2-for-2 on stolen base attempts.
Headean Makes First Collegiate Start
True freshman Will Headean will make his first collegiate start Friday versus the Bruins. The Morton, Ill., native has made three appearances this season, all in relief, going 0-1 with a 1.42 ERA. In 6.1 innings, Headean has struck out seven batters and walked four. Opponents are hitting .200 versus the lefty.
Headean made his collegiate debut, Feb. 15, at Memphis. In two innings of relief work he faced six batters and struck out five as Illinois State won its season-opening game.
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