ISU Plays IWU in Horenberger-Bass Classic Tuesday
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April 30, 2012
The Illinois State baseball team's oldest rivalry resumes Tuesday, when the Redbirds travel two miles south to play Illinois Wesleyan at Jack Horenberger Field. ISU (23-16) and IWU (23-12) will meet for the 154th time beginning at 6 p.m. in the annual Horenberger-Bass Classic.
Illinois State leads the all-time series against Illinois Wesleyan, 83-70, with the two teams meeting in ISU's first-ever recorded baseball game in 1890. The Redbirds are 4-2 against the Titans since the annual game was renewed in 2004. However, the game has been canceled two times since the renewal, including last season, because of rain. Illinois State won the last meeting at IWU in 2010, 12-4.
The Redbirds split their rain-shortened two-game series at Creighton over the weekend, losing game one of Saturday's doubleheader, 6-5, in 15 innings, before winning game two, 7-2. In total, Illinois State played 24 innings of baseball Saturday, which set a TD Ameritrade record for the longest game ever played at the site. The only game in recent Redbird history that rivaled Saturday's in length was a 14-inning affair April 18, 2004, at Creighton. Meanwhile, Illinois Wesleyan lost both of its games to Augustana in a home doubleheader over the weekend.
Illinois State junior center fielder Chad Hinshaw got on base in all three of Illinois State's games last week to extend his team-best on-base streak to 19-consecutive games, while Redbird senior outfielder Ty Wiesemeyer collected a hit in each game to run his team-high hitting streak up to 11 games. Last week's Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week, Wiesemeyer has also established a 14-game on-base streak, and he leads Illinois State with a .364 batting average. Illinois Wesleyan's Kevin Callahan tops the Titan offense with 42 RBI and a .375 batting average, including nine home runs.
The Redbirds are scheduled to start junior right-hander Brad Sorkin (2-3, 4.72 ERA) against IWU freshman right-hander Matt Hart (1-1, 4.15 ERA). Sorkin pitched well in his outing against No. 13 Purdue last Tuesday, throwing seven and two-thirds innings and allowing three runs on nine hits, while striking out one and walking another.
Tuesday's game at IWU marks the final mid-week test for Illinois State, before the Redbirds wrap up the regular season with two series at home against Southern Illinois and Western Illinois, and a final set on the road at Evansville. The State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament will begin May 22 in Springfield, Mo.Live audio of Tuesday's Horenberger-Bass Classic will be available on WEZC 95.9 FM, and on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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