In Sunday MVC baseball action, Southern Illinois captured the rubber game in its series with Evansville, tallying six runs in the first three innings to hold on for the 6-4 victory. After falling in the first two games of the weekend series, both Missouri State and Bradley took the final contest of the series. The Bears scored a 10-3 decision over Wichita State, while the Braves gutted out an 8-7 victory in 14 innings
In the lone non-conference game of the day, Creighton won the rubber game in its series with Seattle, taking the final game by a score of 3-2.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 6, EVANSVILLE 4
SIU (25-26, 8-9 MVC); UE (28-24, 8-10 MVC)
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois scored all six of its runs in the first three innings to carry them to a 6-4 win over Evansville on Sunday at Abe Martin Field to net the series win.
Evansville (28-24, 8-10 MVC) pounded the Dawgs 14-2 in eight innings in Friday's series opener, but Southern (25-26, 8-9 MVC) rallied to win the final two games of the series, each by two runs.
Five of SIU's six runs in the game came with two outs and 10 of its 14 hits were in the first three innings.
The Saluki pitching staff enjoyed a fine day on the mound. Senior left-handed pitcher Jimmy Cornell (3-4) earned his first career Missouri Valley Conference victory, as he threw five innings and gave up just five hits. He struck out six Purple Aces with three walks and gave up just three runs.
Southern's bullpen came in and gave four innings of one-run relief. Senior Bryant George closed out the game to get his sixth save on the year.
Evansville freshman right-hander Kyle Lloyd was chased out of the game in the third inning. He gave up 10 hits, nine of which were singles. He drew the loss to fall to 2-2 on the year.
Saluki junior center fielder Chris Murphy, who was 1-for-6 in the first two games, picked himself up and was 3-for-4 on Sunday with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.
A day after his 20-game hitting streak came to an end, sophomore first baseman Chris Serritellaproduced three hits on Sunday. Two of them were doubles and he also drove in a pair. Sophomore catcher Brian Bajer was 2-for-3 and he finishes the series with four hits in eight at-bats.
Evansville only produced seven hits on the day, three of which came from third baseman Cody Fick.
Serritella drove in his 55th run of the season with a double down the right-field line in the first inning.
Murphy, who scored the first run of the game, drove in two more for the Salukis in the second. Serritella capped off the inning with SIU's fifth-straight, two-out single to drive in Murphy from second and give the Dawgs a 4-0 lead.
SIU then put in some more two-out runs in the third. Michael Stalterand Bajer had back-to-back RBI singles, which were Southern's ninth and 10th hits through three innings.
Meanwhile, Cornell was cruising through the first four innings. He got key double plays in the first and second innings and had six strikeouts to help erase three walks and a hit batsman.
Evansville finally got to Cornell in the fifth. They loaded the bases up and Fick's screaming drive that narrowly missed Cornell on the mound plated two runs and then a third run scored on a wild pitch. That cut SIU's lead down 6-3.
Southern Illinois' bullpen backed up Cornell after he left following the fifth. Senior Ryan Bradley and then freshman Lee Weldgot the Purple Aces to go three-up and three-down in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Purple Aces did get one run off of Weld in the eighth, but George didn't give up anything in the ninth to cap off a great day on the mound for the Saluki staff.
MISSOURI STATE 10, WICHITA STATE 3
MSU (19-30, 5-13 MVC); WSU (34-18, 15-6 MVC)
WICHITA, Kan. - After being shut out the previous two days against Wichita State, the Missouri State baseball team found plenty of offense Sunday in claiming a 10-3 win over the Shockers in the finale of the Missouri Valley Conference series at Eck Stadium in Wichita.
The Bears (19-30, 5-13 MVC) posted an improbable six-run third inning after having the bases empty with two outs and no runs across. Kevin Medrano started the rally with a single and Keenen Maddox walked before Tyler Paxson, Curt Courtwright and Tyler Ryun hit consecutive RBI singles. WSU’s first baseman dropped the third out on a throw from the shortstop to let Courtwright score and J.C. Casey reach before Brett Marshall ripped a two-run double to left for the fifth and sixth runs.
Paxson and Courtwright hit RBI singles in the fourth to make it 8-1, and Courtwright’s career-high fourth hit followed Paxson’s RBI fielder’s choice in the fifth to put the Bears ahead 10-2. Both players finished the game with three RBIs.
Missouri State’s Pat Doyle cruised through seven innings, yielding only a pair of unearned runs in the first and fourth frames before running into trouble in the eighth.
WSU’s (34-18, 15-6) Cody Lassley led off the eighth with a double and scored on Preston Springer’s RBI single before Doyle gave up a single, recorded an out and issued a walk to load the bases with one out. Grant Gordon relieved Doyle and got a 5-4-3 double play from the first hitter to end the threat and take the game into the ninth at 10-3.
Doyle (5-8) picked up the win while moving into second in MSU history with his 71st career appearance. He allowed an earned run in 7.1 innings with two walks and a strikeout. Gordon finished 1.2 innings with three strikeouts.
Courtwright’s four hits led a 15-hit barrage for the offense. Paxson went 3-for-5, while Medrano, Maddox and Marshall each finished with two hits.
The Bears begin their final regular-season series Thursday at 1 p.m. against Southern Illinois (25-26, 8-9) at Hammons Field.
BRADLEY 8, ILLINOIS STATE 7 (14 Innings)
BU (18-29, 6-12, MVC); ILS (26-20, 14-4 MVC)
NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State (26-20, 14-4 MVC) erased a two-run deficit late in the game, but couldn’t capitalize on its chances in extra innings to complete the comeback victory. Bradley (18-29, 6-12 MVC) won the final game of the three-game series, 8-7, in 14 innings Sunday afternoon.
Illinois State scored a run in the seventh and eighth innings to erase a two-run Bradley lead and scored in the 13th to tie the score again. ISU had runners in scoring position in five of the final six innings and couldn’t come up with the game-winning hit, stranding 18 runners in the game.
Kenny Long took the loss for ISU, despite throwing a season-high 6.1 innings. Long held Bradley scoreless for 5.2 of those innings, but surrendered a run in the 13th inning and the decisive run in the 14th inning. Ty Wiesemeyer led the Redbirds at the plate with a 3-for-6, 2 RBI performance.
Bradley pushed across a run in the top of the first inning to take the lead. Rob Elliott drew a walk and then stole second, setting up cleanup hitter Brain Sullivan, who hit a bouncing groundball right back through the middle to drive in the run.
Illinois State put four runs on the scoreboard in the top of the second inning off Bradley starter Kori Jensen. A pair of walks gave ISU runners on first and second with one out and Chad Hinshaw hit a sharp grounder just inside of third base for a double, driving in a run. Kevin Tokarski followed with a two-run single through the right side, then stole second base and scored on a single up the middle by Wiesemeyer.
Illinois State starter J.D. Learnard held Bradley to just one run and two hits through the first four innings, but ran into some trouble in the fifth inning. He walked the leadoff batter David Compitello and then he advanced to third on a balk and a wild pitch. After another walk, Learnard committed his second balk of the inning, allowing Compitello to score. Cam Verbeke came on in relief and gave up a single up the middle to drive in another run.
Bradley scored two runs in the sixth inning to take the lead and a solo home run in the seventh inning extended the advantage to 6-4. All three runs were allowed by relief pitcher Ryan Copeland.
Wiesemeyer led off the bottom half of the seventh inning with a double, but after a strikeout and a flyout, it looked as though he may be stranded there. Ryan Court drove a double into the gap in right center, scoring Wiesemeyer and pulling the Redbirds within a run.
In the eighth inning, a hit batter, a single and a walk loaded the bases for ISU with one out. Wiesemeyer hit a sacrifice fly deep to center field, scoring pinch runner Jake Thornton. Bretty Kay was tagged out trying to advance to third, ending the inning and keeping the score tied at six. Anthony Ruffolo hit a double with one out in the ninth inning, but the Redbirds couldn’t bring him home, sending the game into extra innings.
Both teams had their chances to score in extra innings. Illinois State put a runner in scoring position with one out in each of the first three extra innings, but couldn’t score. Bradley loaded the bases in the 11th and had a one-out double in the 12th, but couldn’t push a run across either.
In the top of the 13th inning, Matt Fritz reached on a fielding error by Tokarski and was sacrificed over to second base. After an intentional walk and a ground out that failed to advance the runners, Phil Kaiser hit a single to left field, scoring Fritz and giving Bradley the lead, 7-6.
Needing a run to stay alive, Court reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman to start off the ISU half of the 13th. He was sacrificed over to second and Thornton drove him home with a double off the base of the wall in right center field, tying the game.
The game did not stay tied for long, as Bradley’s Mike McMillan hit the second pitch of the 14th inning into right center, past a diving Wiesemeyer, for a triple. Compitello singled the next offering from Long sharply through the left side, sending McMillan home with the eventual winning run. Illinois State went down in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Illinois State is on the road to close out the regular season. The Redbirds visit Evansville for a three-game series May 20-22.
Other Sunday Non-Conference Scores Around the Valley:
Creighton 3, Seattle 2