Maines Earns Valley Pitcher of the Week Honors
March 17, 2008
ST. LOUIS - Illinois State baseball player Corey Maines was dominant in only his second-career start on the mound last week, and for his performance was named the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week, as announced by the league office Monday. Maines threw a complete game in the Redbirds' 2-1 win over 2007 NCAA Regional qualifier Lafayette Saturday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton Fla., allowing only run on five hits, while striking out a career-high five batters.
Maines, who walked only one batter, finished with a career-high 115 pitches, with 82 going for strikes. Maines got stronger as the pressure mounted in the game, as he surrendered only one hit after the fourth inning. The Houston native also held the bottom half of the Lafayette order in check, as the Leopards' five through nine hitters batted a combined 2-for-18 against the hard-throwing right-hander.
Another key for Maines was his ability to get ahead of the Leopard hitters, as he recorded first-pitch strikes on 25-of-34 batters faced.
Illinois State head coach Jim Brownlee has seen constant improvement out of Maines in 2008, and believes he has seen a lot of toughness out of the freshman.
"I think Corey has improved every week so far this season," said Brownlee. "He has grown a lot from his first relief appearance at Tennessee Tech, when he was very nervous and didn't have enough time to warm up. It was his first failure, and I thought that he dealt with it very well. I thought he was doing OK in the first three innings against Lafayette, but by the fourth inning, he really got "in a rocking chair." He was locating his pitches, and he obviously has a very good arm. It was a great outing for him, and having a complete game in the last game of an eight-game road swing really helps your pitching staff. I had no intention of taking him out of the game because he was so strong, even though it was a 2-1 game."
Maines and the Redbirds will travel to Chicago Tuesday to take on Illinois-Chicago at Les Miller Field. First pitch is slated for 4:05 p.m.