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Monday, May 5

High school baseball

[MAY 5, 2003] 

At Stanford

Tri-Valley      000 000 0 - 0-3-3

Olympia         140 001 x - 6-10-1

Chris Forrest (L) and Jack Mikel; Trevor Smith (W, 3-3), Derek Foley (7) and Derek Dudgeon (7) and Rush Olson.

Hitting stars - Olympia - Dusty Hayes (2 hits), Tyler Thornton (3 hits, 2 RBI), Olson (2 hits, 2 RBIs).

Records - Tri-Valley 14-10; Olympia 15-7.

High school softball

[MAY 5, 2003] 

At Washington Tournament

Olympia        100 100 0 - 2-9-1

New Trier     100 000 0 - 1-4-0

Jessie Shay (W, 17-1) and Amber Lessen; Rogan (L) and Snyder.

Hitting stars - Olympia - Lessen (RBI), Toliver (RBI).

Pitching star - Olympia - Shay (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER).

Olympia          001 014 0 - 6-6-0

Washington     000 200 0 - 2-8-1

Shay (W, 18-1) and Lessen; Sam Zaiser (L), Shelley Hauptly (7) and Jessica Travis.

Hitting star - Olympia - Lessen (2B), Tiffany Prager (2B), Erin Canopy (2 hits, 3B), Lindsay Watkins (2 hits), Toliver (2 hits).

Records - Olympia 25-1, Washington 15-6.


High school track and field

[MAY 5, 2003] 


Gene Masters Relays
At Normal
Class A

1. Olympia 112

110 high hurdles - 3. Calvin Myers (O), 16.3.

Pole vault - 5. Hish (O), 10-0

Long jump - 1. Olympia (Nick Raes 19-2 3/4, Clint Garey 17-10 3/4, Nick Canopy 16-9 3/4), 53-11 1/4.

High jump - 2. Olympia, 17-2

Triple jump - 3. Olympia, 104-8 1/4

Shot put - 1. Olympia (Jimmy Schultz 53-0, Josh Boudeman 44-3 3/4, Jon Wise 41-10), 139-1 3/4 (meet record)

Discus - 1. Olympia (Boudeman 138-3, Josh Hieronymus 136-4, Schultz 122-8), 397-3 (meet record)

400 relay - 2. Olympia, 45.1

800 - 1. Olympia (Chris McAndrew, Caleb Schmidgall, Wise, Scott Joyce), 1:34.7

800 medley - 1. Olympia (Cory Dillenburg, Ryan Brown, Schmidgall, Austin Brand), 1:37.6

1,600 - 2. Olympia, 3:29.9

3,200 - 4. Olympia, 8:59.7

Distance medley - 2. Olympia, 11:13.1

Fresh-soph medley - 3. Olympia, 3:56.0

300 intermediate hurdle relay - 4. Olympia, 2:19.2

Class AA

7. Lincoln 16

110 high hurdles - 5. Chris Sheley (L), 17.2

Long jump - 3. Lincoln, 54-4 3/4.

Triple jump - 5. Lincoln, 108-3 1/2

Shot put - 5. Lincoln, 109-3 1/2

Discus - 5. Lincoln, 338-1

Distance medley - 5. Lincoln, 12:22.7

Redbird baseball wins first game of doubleheader

[MAY 5, 2003]  NORMAL -- A bench-clearing brawl in the bottom of the fifth inning of the second game of a doubleheader between Illinois State and Indiana State ended the day early for both teams in Missouri Valley Conference baseball action Saturday at Redbird Field in Normal. Illinois State was ahead 4-0 when the fight ensued and had won the first game 3-2 in nine innings.

In game one, Illinois State starter Kyle Bloom started off hot, allowing Indiana State only two hits and no runs through the first five innings and striking out three Sycamores. The Redbirds were able to put a run on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning when Indiana State left fielder Jeremy Hatler dropped a fly ball to send Chris Shepherd to second base on the error. Shepherd was later able to score from third on a sacrifice fly to right-center by Nate Whitney to put the 'Birds ahead 1-0.

Indiana State tied the game at 1-1 when an RBI ground out to second base by Jordan Bichanich sent Chris Hall across the plate from third. In the top of the seventh, the Sycamores went down 1-2-3 to set the stage for a Redbird win in the bottom of the seventh. Whitney was able to reach second on a stolen base with two outs and Jeremy Accardo at the plate, but Accardo grounded out to third base to send the game to extra innings.

With runners at second and third with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Greg Blaesing walked to load the bases for Shepherd. With a full count, Shepherd struck out swinging to send the game to the ninth inning. An RBI single to right-center by Josh Prickett sent Bichanich across home plate to give Indiana State the 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth. The Redbirds responded, however, and with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Jay Molina smashed a shot to right center for a two-RBI double to win the game.


[to top of second column in this article]

In game two, Illinois State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back doubles, by Whitney and Accardo respectively, setting the tone for the 'Birds. Illinois State starter Josh Kauten got out of a jam in the top of the second, allowing the first two batters to reach on singles, but was able to retire the next three Sycamores to get out of the side unscathed, leaving the score 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second.

Kevin Egli was ejected in the top of the third inning as the Sycamore right fielder argued with the home plate umpire following a called strikeout. The 'Birds got two more runs in the bottom of the third when Jeremy Pickrel hit an RBI single to right field and Lance McMillan got an RBI on an error.

With a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth, Molina was hit by a pitch, for the fourth time in the series, by Indiana State starter Matt Zaleski. After both teams exchanged words, players from both teams cleared the benches and a brawl ensued in front of the Redbird dugout. After a 20-minute delay, the umpires determined that the game should be officially suspended.

[Rob Huizenga, athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]

Double forfeit ruled in baseball brawl

[MAY 5, 2003]  NORMAL -- The Missouri Valley Conference, in conjunction with the NCAA and the baseball rule book, determined that both the Illinois State and Indiana State baseball teams were equally responsible for the game two brawl in Saturday's doubleheader and have ruled the contest a double forfeit.

"This is really unfortunate for our team," said Doug Dowdy, assistant athletic director for internal operations at Illinois State. "Our guys were playing some of their best baseball of the season this weekend; however, this institution is supportive of any ruling or regulation that attempts to limit the number of participants involved in an altercation of this nature.

"This will not lessen our resolve to continue to play together and work together to be a better baseball team as we were today," continued Dowdy.

The NCAA 2003 Rules book states that "if both teams are equally at fault and the situation is so out of control that the contest cannot be safely continued, a double forfeit shall be called."

"This is very disappointing," said Illinois State head coach Jim Brownlee. "Life isn't always fair, but our guys just need to regroup and move on from here."

Two players from both teams were to sit out Sunday's 1 p.m. game, serving a one-game suspension for their involvement in the brawl. However, the Missouri Valley Conference did not release the names of the suspended players.

[Rob Huizenga, athletics media relations, Illinois State University]

Redbird baseball drops Sunday game to Indiana State

[MAY 5, 2003]  NORMAL -- Jeremy Accardo went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, but the Illinois State baseball team dropped its final game of the series with Indiana State, 4-3, Sunday in a rain-soaked afternoon at Redbird Field. The game was called in the bottom of the ninth inning due to inclement weather.

Illinois State falls to 17-27 overall, while dropping to 8-15 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Indiana State improves its 30-16 overall with an 11-13 league record. The Sycamores turned in eight hits in the game, with one error, while the Redbirds had six hits but four miscues.

"Our kids played extremely hard this weekend," said Illinois State head coach Jim Brownlee. "We didn't make the routine plays today that we needed to get the win. Our pitchers pitched extremely well all weekend long, and I think Indiana State is the best team in the league, and for us to play as well as we did this weekend against them speaks highly for our ballclub."

After four scoreless innings for both teams, Illinois State starter Kyle Zaleski (4-5) allowed back-to-back singles to start the fifth inning, and a fielding error at third base by Lance McMillan at third loaded the bases with no outs. After an RBI ground out to short by Michael Miller, Jake Eigsti put a two-RBI double into left-center field, which put the Sycamores ahead 3-0 after five innings.

Another infield RBI ground out for Indiana State, this time in the top of the sixth by Kyle Kolb, put the Sycamores up by four runs, 4-0. Illinois State answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth when Jeremy Accardo sent an RBI single into right field that allowed Nate Whitney to score from third and narrow the Indiana State lead to three, 4-1.

Indiana State starter Travis Soppe (6-3) struck out the side looking in the bottom of the seventh as the rain that started in the fourth inning continued to come down in a steady stream. In the bottom of the eighth, Accardo recorded another big RBI hit when he sent a ball down the left-field line with two outs, scoring Bob McNamara from second and putting runners at second and third with Jeremy Pickrel at the plate.

[to top of second column in this article]

Pickrel was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and a wild pitch by Indiana State reliever Kenny Geiersbach plated Chris Shepherd from third and put Accardo and Pickrel at third and second respectively, with McMillan at the plate and the 'Birds down 4-3. McMillan grounded out to short to end the inning for Illinois State.

Brownlee was ejected in the top of the ninth,  following an argument with the home plate umpire on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Barry Warn. The Sycamores had runners at second and third with two outs, but Josh Prickett flew out to right field to send the game into the bottom of the ninth with the score still 4-3 Indiana State.

Lightning and rain forced the game into a 35-minute delay, and it was called at 3:50 p.m. due to the weather conditions.

Illinois State continues its Missouri Valley Conference schedule on Friday, May 9, with a 7 p.m. game against Bradley in Peoria -- the first of a four-game series.

[Rob Huizenga, athletics media relations,
Illinois State University]

'An Evening With the Redbirds' moves to spring date

[MAY 5, 2003]  NORMAL -- A wide array of quality auction items is among the many reasons why "An Evening With the Redbirds" is expected to retain its popularity as one of the top social events of the season.

The 5:30 p.m. start on Saturday, May 17, includes all the familiar events which Redbird fans have previously enjoyed when it was held in the fall.

Now, the spring date figures to be more convenient for more Redbird fans, and that has Perk Weisenburger anticipating a great night.

"Moving this event from the fall to the spring makes it accessible to more Redbird fans and donors," said Weisenburger. "Because so many people participate, this has been one of our marquee events in recent years."

The reception and silent auction will get under way at 5:30 p.m., with dinner and a live auction to follow at 7 p.m. As always, proceeds will provide scholarship support for Illinois State University student-athletes.


[to top of second column in this article]

A highlight of the event is the annual Keeper of the Redbird selection. Redbird fans and friends bid for the honor of joining previous "keepers" of the Battle Bird bronze statue that greets Illinois State student-athletes at every home athletic event.

Past keepers have included the Percy Family/Clemens & Associates and Laverne "Speed" Changnon.

Tickets are $40 per person, including dinner and complimentary beverages, plus the silent and live auction. Tables of eight are available for $280. For more information and to make reservations, call (309) 438-3803.

[Thomas Lamonica, Illinois State University]

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Articles from the past week


  • High school baseball

  • High school softball

  • High school track and field

  • Lincoln College softball

  • Redbirds win first Friday Valley game, 8-5, over Indiana State

  • Lightning strike cancels WJBC webcasts for weekend games

  • Larson steps down as coach of Redbird gymnastics


  • High school softball

  • High school baseball

  • Johnson inks new deal


  • High school baseball

  • Lincoln College softball vs. Lewis & Clark

  • Guest speaker Dick Vitale inspires Redbird student-athletes and coaches

  • Bruce Weber named UI basketball coach


  • High school baseball

  • High school softball

  • High school track and field

  • LCC signs Clinton player


  • High school baseball

  • High school softball

  • Golfers sign with LC

  • Illinois basketball has a bright future


How 'bout those Cardinals

By Jeff Mayfield

[MAY 5, 2003]  I think they're up to something like seven in a row? With all the injuries that they've had, can you believe it? They have really been playing some good ball of late. Lots of people want to talk about their hitting. Others want to talk about their defense. I think I will start with what seems to be getting the job done: their starting pitching.

You knew going into the thing that probably Matt Morris and Woody Williams were going to shine. But did you count on much from Brett Tomko, Jason Simontacci or even Garrett Stevenson? How 'bout the outing Simontacci delivered in Busch Stadium Friday night to 41,000-plus delirious redbird backers sporting their FREE new T-shirts? He completely dominated Montreal almost from start to finish. And to get an outing from him like that now, when the Cards' bullpen is completely dismantled, couldn't be bigger. Then follow that up with a huge performance by Stevenson and then another rock steady show by Morris, and the Birds are covering up a multitude of deficiencies.

How can I say that? Look at what the pen has provided over the last couple of weeks… or should I say, what they HAVEN'T provided? Two or three times over that span they have blown huge leads in the ninth! Great or even good teams canNOT survive on a steady diet of that. I guess you could say that the good news is that somehow St. Louis has weathered most of those storms. But as the old adage goes, where there's smoke there is fire; and our hurlers have spent more time tossing gas on the flames than getting the fires out! Hopefully, as injuries begin to heal up, so will the bullpen's woes. If not, the Birds may just tease their fans along all year.

You do have to be happy with the everyday lineup, as I really wasn't trying to downplay it all that much. Fernando Vina has been on a holy tear since shaving off his Fu Manchu! He's even hit his first two homers in something like his last thousand at-bats. He's also made a few spectacular plays in the field. Tino Martinez has delivered a few times as well, after a woeful start last season. Scott Rolen continues to show why he was one of the best pickups in baseball over the last few years, and he plays a very stingy third base as well. And what can you say about Edgar Renteria? He may be the Cards' MVP over the long haul, when you consider how consistent he has been with both the bat and glove; he is nothing short of amazing.


As you roam the Cardinals' outfield you are not stunned by the names save one: Albert Pujols. Pujols is simply and easily one of the five best players in the game right now. And to think just a couple of hundred games ago he was playing Class A baseball. Is baseball a funny game or what? Who knows what will happen with J.D. Drew? Labeled as a can't-miss superstar, injuries have slowed him almost continually. Now he is making solid contact but hitting the ball right at people. He can't seem to buy a break. Don't know if the Cards will wait him out to see what he can do when and if he ever gets healthy, or if they will continue to shop him and maybe continue to shore up the pitching corps. You'd have to say that Eduardo Perez, Eli Marrero and Orlando Palmiero have done an excellent job for St. Louis. Without that trio and some of the work by Kerry Robinson, the Birds could have been in a hole by now that they may never have been able to climb out of.


[to top of second column in this article]

Despite their stellar play so far, one concern remains. This is NOT the speediest outfield that you will ever lay eyes on! From a defensive standpoint this concerns me greatly, when you consider how much long relief and stoppers have struggled up to this point in the proceedings.Mike Matheny continues to cover a multitude of sins for the Cardinals. Obviously one of the best defensive catchers in all of baseball, he's gotten some big hits along the way too. And the way he works with pitchers has really helped guide St. Louis to a share of first place as of today. That is a huge factor in the Cards' meteoric rise over the last two weeks. It is also a critical component of how far they can go and whether they can withstand the rash of injuries that have beset them in the early going.

It is still way too early to predict how these redbirds will fare. Though Card fans throughout the region are hoping for a return to the glory of the 1982 season!

Cardinal fastballs

--Former pitching great Danny Cox will be managing in the independent league.

--Another former redbird hurler, Ricky Horton is now serving as the director of the St. Louis area Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

--The secret weapon, Jose Oquendo, is getting so aggressive as the Birds' third base coach, he's beginning to remind longtime fans of Hal Lanier. Remember the awesome job Lanier used to do for the Cards?

--The Cards outscored the Expos and the Mets 48-16 during the homestand.

--The last time the redbirds swept a homestand of six or more games was Aug. 13-19, 2001, when they swept Cincinnati and Philadelphia for seven games.

--The last time they swept Montreal was Sept. 28-30, 1992.

--St. Louis will play only NL Central opponents for the next month.

--The Cardinals will get their first look at the Reds' new Great American Ball Park starting tonight in Cincinnati.

[Jeff Mayfield]

Editorial note: The LDN sports staff plans to bring you some other baseball updates on the Chicago Cubs, White Sox and others over the next few months…



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