Illinois State Opens Homestand Against Southern Illinois
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May 3, 2012
With just three weeks remaining in the regular season, the Illinois State baseball team opens its final homestand of 2012, starting Friday at 4:30 p.m., against Southern Illinois. The three-game, Missouri Valley Conference set will feature Fan Appreciation Day Friday, Stephen Heaton Day Saturday and BaseBald Day Sunday.
"Southern Illinois is a good club that does many things well." Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston said. "It should be a great series."
The Redbirds have not played since last Saturday, after ISU's last two games against Creighton and Illinois Wesleyan were rained out. Illinois State split their rain-shortened two-game series at Creighton last 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. Meanwhile, Southern Illinois lost two-out-of-three at league-leading Missouri State last weekend, before winning, 7-3, at Illinois Tuesday.
The Redbirds (23-16, 5-8 MVC) and Salukis (25-20, 9-6 MVC) have produced similar statistics this season, including a .305 Illinois State batting average compared to a .296 Southern Illinois average, and a 5.01 ISU ERA compared to a 4.83 SIU ERA. The Saluki offense is led by Chris Serritella, who leading the MVC in batting average (.391), slugging percentage (.676), runs (44), hits (70), doubles (19) and home runs (10).
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 extend his team-high hitting streak 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.
The Redbirds are scheduled to start junior right-hander Chris Razo (4-4, 5.75 ERA) Friday, freshman left-hander Dylan Craig (6-2, 5.05 ERA) Saturday, and Sunday's starter is still to be determined. SIU will counter with junior left-hander Cody Forsythe (3-2, 3.10 ERA) Friday, Cameron Maldonado (6-1, 6.02 ERA) Saturday and Sam Conrood (2-3, 4.80 ERA) Sunday.
Admission will be free to all three games at Duffy Bass Field this weekend. Friday's Fan Appreciation Day will give every fan in attendance the opportunity to win prizes from one of the many Redbird Athletics sponsors throughout the game. All patrons will receive a raffle ticket upon entering the ballpark, and winning numbers will be announced throughout the duration of the game.
On Saturday, the Illinois State baseball team will honor former Redbird baseball letterwinner Stephen Heaton with "Stephen Heaton Day." A plaque made in Heaton's honor by his former teammates will be dedicated during the event.
The weekend will wrap up with BaseBald Day on Sunday. Every member of the team, including coaches, will shave their heads following the game, after raising more than $5,000 in support of the St. Baldrick's Foundation. The postgame head-shaving ceremony will take place on the main concourse at Duffy Bass Field. Media members are invited to attend the postgame head shaving event, which will occur immediately following the game's conclusion. With the game beginning at 1 p.m., the shaving will likely occur between 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. Media organizations can obtain further details by contacting ISU Athletics Communications baseball contact John Twork by e-mailing email@example.com or calling (309) 438-5746.
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