Saturday Baseball Recaps (Apr. 23)
Saturday featured a pair of doubleheader splits, three one-run games and several outstanding pitching performances. Both Indiana State/Missouri State and Bradley/Evansville won a game apiece in doubleheader action, while Southern Illinois (at Creighton) and Wichita State (vs. Illinois State) were also winners Saturday afternoon.
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 3, CREIGHTON 2
SIU (14-24, 5-3 MVC); CU (27-9, 6-2 MVC)
OMAHA, Neb. - Cody Forsythe struck out a career-high 10 batters and Southern Illinois held off Creighton's ninth-inning rally to defeat the Bluejays, 3-2, Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park.
A day after SIU (14-24, 5-3 Missouri Valley Conference) blew a one-run lead in the 10th inning to Creighton (27-9, 6-2), it appeared the same might happen again Saturday. SIU led 3-0 entering the ninth inning, and that's when Creighton woke up.
A two-run homer from Trever Adams cut SIU's lead down to one. Then CU had runners on first and second with one out, but Saluki reliever Tyler Dray was able to end the drama with a strikeout and an infield pop out to record his sixth save of the season and preserve Forsythe's masterful performance on the mound.
Forsythe lasted seven innings, allowing just four hits and no runs. He walked two batters, which was the first time he's given up more than one walk in 10 starts this year. Of the 26 batters Forsythe faced in the game, he threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of them and working ahead in the count has been one of the key's to his success both Saturday and the entire season.It had been two years since a Saluki pitcher had struck out 10 or more batters in a game, but SIU's starters have done so in back-to-back days. Cameron Maldonado fanned a career-high 10 Friday night and Forsythe matched his performance Saturday.
Second baseman Brock Harding had three of Southern's five hits in the game, but it was one powerful swing from Nick Johnson that provided SIU's offense. Johnson hit a two-run homer in the second inning. It was his fourth homer of the season and three of those have come in Valley play.
Austin Montgomery drove in the third run of the game with his sacrifice fly that scored Chris Murphy in the third. That proved to be the winning run in the game.
Forsythe didn't give up a hit until the fifth inning, when Trever Adams and Alex Staehely got back-to-back singles. A one-out walk then loaded the bases, but SIU's ace got out of trouble with a pop out and a strikeout.
Again in the seventh Creighton tried to mount a rally, only to see Forsythe shut it down. The Jays had two singles and a walk in that inning, but Jordan Sivertsen threw one base runner out at second when Staehely over ran the bag.
Forsythe then ended the seventh by striking out Mike Gerber for his 10th strikeout of the game.
Todd Eaton threw a hitless eighth inning for the Salukis. Tyler Dray entered in the ninth, and after the early trouble with Adams' homer and back-to-back walks, he was able to close out the win for SIU.
WICHITA STATE 6, ILLINOIS STATE 1
(WSU (25-16, 5-3 MVC); ILS (24-12, 4-4 MVC)
WICHITA, Kan. - Wichita State pitcher Brian Flynn threw a two-hit complete game to lead the Shockers to a 6-1 win Saturday against Illinois State at Eck Stadium.
The Shockers took the lead in the fourth inning, then used a four-run fifth inning to break open the Missouri Valley Conference game in front of a home crowd of 3,675 and improve to 25-17 overall and 5-3 in Valley play.
Sophomore Flynn improved to 4-1 on the season with the first complete nine-inning performance of his Wichita State career. The left-hander struck out four and threw 101 pitches.
Catcher Chris O'Brien and designated hitter Preston Springer led the Shockers with three hits each and both players extended their hitting streaks to seven games. Third baseman Tyler Coughenour paced Wichita State with two RBI.
Illinois State pitcher Dan Savas (3-2) was credited with the loss. The Redbirds fell to 24-12 overall and 4-4 in conference play.
The Shockers ended the scoreless game in the fourth inning.
Don Lambert led off the inning with a single, then stole second base. Coughenour's sacrifice bunt advanced Lambert to third base. Lambert then scored on Micah Green's sacrifice bunt for a 1-0 Wichita State lead.
Wichita State added four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 5-0 lead.
Tyler Grimes doubled to right center, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Kevin Hall's double to left scored Grimes for a 2-0 Shocker lead. O'Brien's single advanced Hall to third base. Hall later scored on Springer's single to right field. Coy walked to load the bases with no outs. Coughenour's two-RBI, one-out double scored O'Brien and Springer for the 5-0 edge.
Illinois State's Ryan Court scored on Tyler McNeely's sacrifice fly to end the shutout in the seventh inning and cut the score to 5-1.
Shocker Springer scored in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly to left field from Coy for the 6-1 lead.
The three-game home series against Illinois State continues at 1 p.m. Sunday at Eck Stadium.
INDIANA STATE 7, MISSOURI STATE 6 (Game 1)
MISSOURI STATE 4, INDIANA STATE 1 (Game 2)
MSU (23-15, 6-3 MVC); INS (20-18, 3-6 MVC)
Game 1 Recap
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Indiana State baseball team tallied four runs in the eighth inning on Saturday, coming back from an early four-run deficit to pick up a 7-6 victory in game one of the scheduled doubleheader.
Missouri State jumped out to an early lead on Saturday, scoring a pair of runs in the second and two more in the third. The damage could have been much worse for the Sycamores, as the Bears left the bases loaded in the first inning, ISU turned a double play with the bases loaded to end the second and the Bears once again left the bags stacked in the third.
Indiana State cut the MSU lead to one run in the sixth inning, scoring three runs in the top of the frame. Junior Kyle Burnam got ISU on the board with a double down the left field line, plating sophomore Jeremy Lucas, who drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. After junior Jon Hedges reached on a single through the left side of the infield that moved Burnam to third, freshman Tyler Wampler picked up a RBI when he grounded into a fielder's choice. The Sycamores kept the rally going with two outs, as junior Jeff Miera reached on an error before sophomore Jordan Pearson brought Wampler home with a single through the middle of the infield to cut the MSU lead to 3-2.
The Bears got two of their runs back in the bottom of the inning, scoring two runs on four singles to take a 6-3 lead after six innings. Once again, the damage could have been worse, but junior Chris Machado forced a fielder's choice groundout with the bases loaded and a popup to end the inning with a pair of runners on base.
The Sycamores took the lead in the eighth inning, scoring four runs on three hits to take a 7-6 lead. Wampler led off the inning with a long at-bat, completing it with a single into shallow right-center field. After a strikeout and a walk to Pearson, junior Lucas Hileman tallied the first run of the inning with a single through the right side of the infield to plate Wampler from second and move Pearson to third.
After the Bears went to their bullpen to bring in their closer Dan Kickham, the Sycamores continued their comeback. A wild pitch from Kickham with sophomore Koby Kraemer at the plate allowed the second run of the inning to score, as Pearson slid home as the pitch went to the backstop and moved Hileman into scoring position. Kraemer took advantage during his at-bat, lacing a single to shallow left that skipped under the glove of the leftfielder allowing Hileman to score and Kraemer to move to second.
As the Bears attempted to intentionally walk sophomore Robby Ort, Kickham tallied his second wild pitch of the inning to move Kraemer to third, before successfully completing the free pass to put runners on the corners with one out. Lucas gave ISU the lead that they would not surrender when he came up next, hitting a sacrifice fly to center to give the Sycamores a one-run lead, at 7-6.
Missouri State threatened in the eighth, knocking a pair of two-out hits off Machado, but senior Blake Drake came out of the bullpen and recorded the final four outs in order for his fifth save of the season. Machado earned the victory in relief, pushing his personal record to 3-2 on the season, by tossing 2.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
After senior Jason Van Skike lasted just 2.2 innings in game one, junior Reggie Hochstedler gave ISU a chance for the comeback by allowing just two runs over the next 2.2 innings.
Game 2 Recap
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The second game began two hours, 50 minutes after game one ended thanks to thunderstorms, and the Sycamores gained a 1-0 lead in the second with starter Sean Manaea (3-3) carrying a one-hitter into the fifth inning before the Bears’ offense got rolling.
After Medrano made a spectacular defensive play to end the ISU fifth and save two runs, the junior second baseman singled in the bottom of the inning after Conway walked to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Seifert then sent a 2-2 pitch into the right-center gap for a two-run double to give the Bears a 2-1 lead.
Spiker Helms added an RBI single in the seventh, and McComack hit one in the eighth for insurance, putting the Bears ahead 4-1.
Senior Blake Barber (6-2) matched his career with seven strikeouts, allowing just an unearned run over 6.2 innings. He walked one and yielded six hits before Pierce Johnson took over for the final 2.1 innings, striking out three against one walk for his first career save.
BRADLEY 3, EVANSVILLE 2 (Game 1)
EVANSVILLE 6, BRADLEY 0 (Game 2)
UE (21-15, 2-6 MVC); BU (20-17, 2-6 MVC)
Game 1 Recap
PEORIA, Ill. - Junior lefthander Joe Bircher (5-3) matched his career-high by striking out 10 Evansville hitters in his first complete game of the season, leading host Bradley to a 3-2 win in the opening game of the Missouri Valley Conference series at O'Brien Field.
Rallying from a pair of 1-run deficits, Bradley got the winning run in the seventh when second baseman David Compitello led off with a bunt single, took second on a sacrifice bunt and third on a wild pitch, before scoring on Jerrod Eigsti's ground out.
Bradley's 12th come-from-behind win of the season ended a season-long 5-game losing streak.
Game 2 Recap
PEORIA, Ill. - Evansville left-hander Cole Isom (4-4) tossed a 2-hit shutout, allowing the visiting Purple Aces (21-15, 2-6 MVC) to salvage a doubleheader split against Missouri Valley Conference rival Bradley (20-17, 2-6 MVC) with a 6-0 victory in the nightcap Saturday evening at O'Brien Field.
Bradley won a pitcher's dual in the opener, 3-2, as Joe Bircher struck out 10 in the complete-game victory for the Braves, but Isom was equally as tough in the nightcap, striking out eight in his second shutout of the season. Bradley centerfielder Brian Martin hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the first, but he was the only Brave to reach second base against Isom.
Evansville took advantage of two errors, a wild pitch and a passed ball to score three unearned runs in the first inning against Braves starter Tory Doerr (2-1), who suffered his first career loss at Bradley.
The teams are scheduled to play the rubber game in the 3-game Valley series Sunday at 1 p.m. at O'Brien Field.