Friday, April 13, 2012
Sports News

ISU takes on preseason favorite Missouri State

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[April 13, 2012]  SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Illinois State plays preseason Missouri Valley Conference favorite Missouri State when the Redbirds (20-10) take on the Bears (25-10) this weekend for a three-game series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. The games will be played at Hammons Field, which is the site of the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.

"Week three in the league brings another great challenge," said Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston. "Missouri State is a well-rounded team, and we need to play our best. I expect us to be ready."

The Redbirds are off to a 2-4 start in the Valley after losing two out of three games in each of their first two conference series against Indiana State and Wichita State. Missouri State is 4-2 in the Valley following a sweep of Creighton and a 2-1 series loss at Bradley. Both teams are coming off midweek wins, with the Redbirds beating Northern Illinois 22-3 and the Huskies topping Kansas State 3-0.

Each team features effective offenses, with ISU posting a .312 batting average compared with Missouri State's .271 mark. The Redbirds are led by Ty Wiesemeyer's .354 average, with 24 RBIs on eight doubles, three triples and two home runs. Chad Hinshaw's .500 on-base percentage not only leads Illinois State, but also the Valley. Meanwhile, Missouri State is led by Spiker Helms, who is hitting .304 with 27 RBIs, including 16 doubles and four home runs.

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ISU will start Chris Razo (4-2, 4.53 ERA) Friday, Dylan Criag (4-1, 5.59 ERA) Saturday and Jeremy Rhoades (3-1, 5.40 ERA) Sunday. MSU is expected to counter with Nick Petree (6-2, 0.92 ERA) Friday and Cody Schumacher (3-0, 5.08 ERA) Saturday. Missouri State's Sunday starter has not yet been announced.

Illinois State trails the all-time series against the Bears 48-33, although the Redbirds won the last meeting 8-3 on May 8, 2011, in Normal. Live coverage of the series will be available on and


Redbird notes

[Text from news release received from John Twork, athletics communications, Illinois State University]

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