In Sunday MVC baseball action, Southern Illinois handed the Shockers just their second Valley setback, as the Salukis belted three home runs to top Wichita State, 9-5. Illinois State moved into first place in the league standings after completing the three-game sweep over Creighton, taking the final contest, 6-2. Bradley took down the Bears in walk-off fashion, sending Missouri State home winless after a 9-8 loss today.
In the lone non-conference contest on Sunday, Indiana State took the rubber game in the series at The Citadel, as the Sycamores came away with a 4-2 win.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 9, WICHITA STATE 5
SIU (16-16, 5-4 MVC); WSU (21-10, 7-2 MVC)
WICHITA, Kan. - The Southern Illinois baseball team hit three home runs and had a solid day on the mound to beat Wichita State, 9-5, Sunday at Eck Stadium.
The Salukis came back strong to win on Sunday after losing the first two games of the series by the combined score of 18-3. SIU's record now stands at 16-16 overall and 5-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference. WSU falls to 21-10 and 7-2 with the loss that snaps its six-game winning streak.
Junior left-handed pitcher Randy Hoelscher (2-2) picked up his second straight win. He threw five innings and retired 11-straight batters at one point. He finished with four strikeouts against one walk and gave up six hits, but only two after the first inning.
Shocker reliever Grant Muncrief (0-2) got the loss, as Chris Serritella's two-RBI double in the sixth put SIU ahead for good.
Serritella also had a three-run homer in the fifth and finished the day going 2-for-4 with five RBIs. Sophomore Jordan Sivertsen and freshman Austin Montgomery both padded on solo home late in the game to give the Salukis some insurance runs. Montgomery had a game-high three hits.
Freshman Lee Weld and senior Bryant George combined to throw four scoreless innings to secure the Saluki win. Weld threw three of the last four innings and had five strikeouts. Geroge struck out two in the ninth and was clocked as high as 98 mph on the radar gun while Weld hit a high of 96.
For the third-straight day, Wichita State had a big first inning. Bret Bascue's double down the right-field line scored two runs and the Shockers added an unearned run on two Saluki errors that occurred on the same play.
The Saluki fielding mishap and four WSU hits in the first inning didn't faze Hoelscher, who went on to retire 11-straight hitters.
Tony Lepore's sacrifice fly that scored Michael Stalter in the fourth finally got SIU on the scoreboard, but SIU missed a prime opportunity to get more. The Salukis had the bases loaded with one out, but only produced the one run.
Southern Illinois continued to rally behind Hoelscher and took its first lead of the series in the fifth on Serritella's three-run opposite field homer in the fifth. Serritella had just two hits in his first eight at-bats in the series before that plate appearance.
The Shockers came back to regain the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run home run to center from Ryan Jones.
The game continued to swing and Serritella put SIU back on top with a two-run double off the top of the wall in left-center. Stalter followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Blake Pinnon and SIU gave Hoelscher the 7-5 lead as he exited in the sixth.
Weld pitched three great innings of scoreless relief, where he struck out five of the 12 batters he faced.
Sivertsen gave the Salukis an 8-5 lead in the top of the eighth with a leadoff, solo home run. Montgomery followed suit in the ninth with a one out solo bomb to push the lead up to four. That was the first career home run for the Marion, Ill. product.
George came in on the mound in the ninth. He hit the first two batters he faced, which created a lot of commotion and led to both teams being warned by the umpire. George regrouped, struck out the next two and got the third to ground out to end the game.
ILLINOIS STATE 6, CREIGHTON 2
ILS (15-14; 5-1 MVC); CU (14-12, 3-6 MVC)
OMAHA, Neb. - Illinois State knocked nine hits and scored all of its runs with two outs while sweeping Creighton in a 6-2 win at CU Sports Complex Sunday. The Redbirds went 3-0 over the weekend against the Bluejays and moved into first place in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 5-1 league record.
Illinois State's number nine hitter Brett Kay broke up a perfect game bid by Creighton (14-12, 3-6 MVC) starter Ty Blach with a two-out line drive up the middle in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kay stopped the streak of retired batters to open the game at 17 - his own jersey number - and later scored the Redbirds' first run on a single by Chad Hinshaw. It was the first of three runs in the inning for Illinois State (15-14, 5-1 MVC) and the first of six runs in the final four innings with two outs on the board.
The game had the makings of a pitcher's duel from the beginning as Blach and Illinois State starter Ryan Camp combined to retire the first 15 batters of the game. Camp surrendered the first of just three hits allowed to lead off the bottom of the third inning, a solo home run by Ian Dike. Creighton scratched across another run in the bottom of the fifth but Camp notched his second quality start of the season with six strikeouts and no walks in six innings.
Blach was cruising through the Redbird lineup for the second time when Kay came to the plate with two outs in the sixth and knocked just his second hit of the series. Kay knocked two more before the end of the game, part of nine Illinois State hits after the fifth inning. After Hinshaw's single scored Kay in the sixth, Kevin Tokarski and Hinshaw completed a double steal and were driven in by Matt Mirabal. Illinois State stole four bases in the sixth while scoring three runs in the sixth.
Kay provided another two out hit in the seventh, this time with two runners in scoring position, to make it 5-2 Illinois State. Zach Amrein added a solo home run with two outs in the ninth to complete the Illinois State scoring. Kay finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base. Amrein was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Illinois State pitcher Ryan Copeland struck out two in three perfect innings of relief to earn his first save of the season. Copeland threw four scoreless while earning the win in Friday's series opener.
The Redbirds welcome Purdue to Duffy Bass Field Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. - a dollar day at the ballpark, with tickets and hot dogs for $1. Illinois State defeated Purdue, 5-2, earlier this season in West Lafayette, Ind.
BRADLEY 9, MISSOURI STATE 8
BU (9-17, 3-6 MVC); MSU (12-19, 1-5 MVC)
PEORIA, Ill. - The Missouri State baseball team came back from a pair of three-run deficits Sunday afternoon only to watch Bradley score three in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the Bears their fifth walk-off loss of the season by a 9-8 final at O'Brien Field in Peoria, Ill.
A wild ninth inning saw the Bears (12-19, 1-5 MVC) score three runs to grab an 8-6 lead. Kevin Medrano plated the first run with a double and Tyler Paxson delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded to give MSU the two-run advantage.
As it did all weekend, Bradley (9-17, 3-6) had an answer for the Bears, loading the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth and executing perfectly to grab the victory. The Braves hit a pair of sacrifice flies for the tie before Matt Fritz's fifth hit of the game delivered the game-winning run.
Bradley took a 3-0 lead through four innings, using the bunt and running games each time. The Braves scored in the first when Fritz hit a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice and a ground out. Mike Tauchman drew a leadoff walk in the second and stole second before scoring when the mound redirected Mike McMillan's ground ball around the MSU defense for a single, and then used another McMillan single, a sacrifice and Jason Leblebijian single in the fourth for the third run.
Freshmen Barrett Noirfalise and Keenen Maddox hit back-to-back one-out singles in the fifth and a wild pitch allowed Noirfalise to score MSU's first run. The Bears had their eyes on another run when Fritz made a specatular leading catch at second to rob Trevor Rogers of an RBI single and end the MSU fifth with a 3-1 score.
MSU opened the sixth with a Travis McComack walk and Aaron Conway single and Medrano sacrificed both into scoring position with the first out. Christian Overstreet's ground out plated McComack and Paxson placed an 0-2 pitch down the right-field line for an RBI single to tie the game at 3-3.
The momentum quickly swung back to Bradley in the bottom of the sixth when Pierce Johnson plunked the leadoff man, ending his start after five-plus innings. Grant Gordon relieved Johnson and the Braves built their lead back to three runs with a sacrifice, an error, three singles, a stolen base and two wild pitches, sending the game into the seventh with a 6-3 score in favor of the home team.
Bradley reliever Gus DeQuesada quickly retired the first two batters of the seventh before walking the bases loaded with two outs. Patrick Cooper, a weekend starter until moving to the bullpen this week, came in to face Medrano, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a two-run single that pulled the Bears within a run. Another walk loaded the bases before Paxson popped out to end the inning with a 6-5 score.
Other Non-Conference Scores from Around the Valley:
Indiana State 4, The Citadel 2