Saturday Baseball Recaps (May 15)
Sunday, May 16, 2010

In Saturday MVC baseball action, Wichita State and Illinois State turned in repeat performances from a night ago, while Southern Illinois turned the tables on Evansville to even the series at 1-1.  The Shockers threw their second consecutive complete game shutout over Missouri State, as tonight Tim Kelley blanked the Bears, 8-0.  The Redbirds retain their half-game lead over Wichita State with a 7-5 victory over Bradley.

In Saturday's lone non-conference contest, Creighton evened the series with visiting Seattle, taking today's game, 3-1.

WSU (34-17, 15-5 MVC); MSU (18-30, 4-13 MVC)

Using another dominating pitching performance, the Shockers clinched their final Missouri Valley Conference series of the season, topping the Missouri State Bears on Saturday, 8-0.

After a stellar complete game effort from Jordan Cooper on Friday, Shocker junior Tim Kelley (9-2) threw a gem on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander also tossed a complete game, shutting out the Bears and striking out 10 while walking just two.

Offensively, senior catcher Cody Lassley led the charge, going 2-for-5 with four RBI.

Kelley was dealing through the first half of the game, racking up six strikeouts by the end of the fourth inning. The Bears starter, lefty Aaron Meade, hung in through the first three, allowing just one hit as Kelley had.

In the fourth, senior outfielder Bret Bascue changed that trend when he singled to deep right field to move freshman first baseman Johnny Coy to third. Senior outfielder Travis Bennett's single drove him home to put the Shocks on the board first.

An infield single from sophomore shortstop Tyler Grimes kicked off the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back base hits from senior second baseman Will Baez and Lassley plated Grimes. Coy's long sacrifice fly to center sent Baez home giving the Shocks the 3-0 edge.

Coy's leadoff double in the eighth and Bennett's RBI to follow drove Meade from the game for reliever Blake Barber. Barber didn't fair much better as he served up a bases-clearing double to Lassley, highlighting a five-run eighth inning and blowing the game wide open, 8-0.

Kelley took care of business in the top of the ninth to finish his flawless start and pick up his ninth win of the season.

The final game of the series starts Sunday at 1 p.m. Shocker sophomore Josh Smith is scheduled to face Missouri State's Pat Doyle.

SIU (24-26, 7-9 MVC); UE (28-23, 8-9 MVC)

The Southern Illinois baseball team jumped out to a 7-2 lead on a three-run homer from Tyler Bullock and held on to defeat Evansville, 8-6, Saturday on senior day at Abe Martin Field.

The win ends a four-game losing streak for the Salukis (24-26, 7-9 MVC) and sets up Sunday's rubber match. Evansville, who run-ruled SIU in the first game of the series, drops to 28-23 on the year and 8-9 in the conference.

Bullock, who was one of 11 seniors honored before the game as part of senior weekend, went 2-for-5 with that three-run bomb in the fourth that scored what proved to be the winning runs. It was his 11th homer of the season and 28th of his career, moving him into a tie with Matt Dettman andSal Frisella for the second-most in school history.

Junior left-handed pitcher Randy Hoelscher went 6.1 inning to pick up his fourth win on the year (4-3). He allowed six hits and six runs (four earned) with three walks and two strikeouts. Senior closer Bryant George got the save, his fifth on the year and 28th of his career.

SIU out-hit the Purple Aces 10-9. The bottom three batters of SIU's order all joined Bullock with two hits on the day. Senior Aaron Roberts drove in two runs and catcher Brian Bajer had one RBI to go with his two hits. Senior Michael Stalter was 2-for-3 and had a double.

Eight different Salukis scored SIU's eight runs in the game.

Evansville starter Sam Johns was pulled after the first inning due to a tight back. That forced the Purple Aces to throw five different pitchers in Saturday's game. Right-hander Seth McCabe, who replaced Johns (4-2) after the first, drew the loss as he gave up three runs in the second when SIU took the lead for good.

Sophomore first baseman Chris Serritella saw his 20-game hitting streak come to an end. He was 0-for-4 on the day with a walk and he scored on Bullock's fourth-inning homer.

Just like they did in Friday's game, Evansville jumped out to a lead by scoring two, two out runs in the first inning. Both runs were unearned and Nate Smith, who had three doubles on Friday, drove in the second run with yet another double to left field.

Southern got two runners on off walks in the second. Bajer then got SIU's first hit of the game with two outs to score Austin Montgomery from second. Roberts followed with a double to right center to clear the bases and give the Salukis the lead. It was just Roberts' second double of the year and 20th in his 204th career game.

The Dawgs came back in the third and loaded the bags up with just one out. Nick Johnson drove in one run with a single through the left side, but that was all SIU got as UE reliever Adam Culiver struck out the next two Saluki batters to leave the bases full.

Bullock upped SIU's lead to 7-2 in the fourth when he belted a three-run homer to right with two outs. It was Southern's first home run in six games.

Hoelscher, who came into the game with only two walks against his last 167 batters faced, walked two batters in the fifth inning. That set up a pair of sacrifice fly's and with RBI singles from Trentt Copeland's and Tom Heithoff in the seventh, Evansville cut the SIU lead down to 7-6.

UE had a chance to get more in the seventh as they had runners on first and third, but Saluki reliever Lee Weld picked off Heithoff at first to end the inning. It was his fifth pickoff this year.

SIU got an unearned run off a throwing error in the seventh that allowed Johnson to score an insurance run and give the Dawgs the 8-6 lead.

Weld got SIU through the eighth and George, who got a key double play on a groundball up to the mound, closed it out in the ninth to lock up the victory and match the teams win total from last year.

ILS (26-18, 14-3 MVC); BU (17-29, 5-12 MVC)

NORMAL, Ill. -
Ryan Copeland threw three scoreless innings of relief to preserve a 7-5 win for Illinois State (26-18, 14-3 MVC) over Bradley (17-29, 5-12 MVC) Saturday at Duffy Bass Field. The win keeps the Redbirds in first place in the Missouri Valley Conference, one half game ahead of Wichita State.

Ryan Court hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season, a three-run blast in the first inning. Kevin Tokarski went 2-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

Jim Sajewich earned the win in relief and broke the Illinois State career appearances record by pitching in the 87th game of his career. Sajewich tied the record earlier this week against Eastern Illinois and surpassed Eric Thiesen with his appearance against Bradley.

With runners on second and third and two outs, Court battled Bradley starter Joe Bircher to a full count. He smashed the seventh pitch of the at-bat over the wall in straight-away center, the deepest part of the park, to give ISU a quick 3-0 lead.

After the Bradley leadoff hitter reached on a fielding error by Tokarski, ISU starter Brad Sorkin retired seven-straight Braves, four on routine groundouts. A single and a walk put two runners on with one out in the top of the third inning. Court then misplayed a ground ball, letting a run score, and Bradley pulled off a successful hit-and-run, with Brian Martin hitting a sharp ground ball through the vacant left side of the infield for another run. Bradley still had runners on the corners and only one out, when Brian Martin hit a ground ball to second base. Tokarski fielded it, leapt over the runner as he tagged him out and made the throw to first base in time to beat Martin and complete the double play.

Bradley put two runners on with one out again in the top of the fourth inning, but Sorkin worked out of it with a groundout to second and a strikeout.

Illinois State put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom half of the fourth and a wild pitch by Bircher put them both in scoring position. The Redbirds advantage with Brett Kay hitting a a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Evan Kohli, and Tokarski following with a double down the left field line, scoring Chad Hinshaw. Ty Wiesemeyer singled up the middle, driving in Tokarski and giving ISU a 6-2 lead.

A single and two hit batters loaded the bases for Bradley in the top of the sixth inning and knocked Sorkin out of the game. Sajewich relieved Sorkin and retired the three batters he faced in order, but the Braves did score twice with a fly out to center and a groundout to first base, cutting the deficit to 6-4.

Bradley scratched across another run in the sixth inning with a double, a single and a fielder's choice groundout to pull within a run. A 6-4-3 double play ended the inning and kept the Redbirds ahead.

Copeland threw two scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts in the seventh and eighth, throwing 16 of his 21 pitches for strikes and retiring the Braves in order.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, back-to-back singles and a balk put runners on the corners for ISU with one out. Kay chopped a ground ball that skipped under the glove of the charging Bradley third basemen and added an insurances run for the Redbirds.

Copeland was so effective and economical in his first two innings that he came back out to finish the game in the ninth. After recording a strikeout and a foul popout on the first two batters, he gave up a single to left field, but closed the door quickly with a flyout to right field. Copeland threw 36 pitches over the three innings, including 27 strikes.

Illinois State closes out the series and the regular-season home schedule Sunday at 1 p.m.

Saturday Non-Conference Scores from Around the Valley:
Creighton 3, Seattle 1