Redbirds hold off Evansville for 30th win
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[May 18, 2012]
EVANSVILLE, Ind. -- Illinois
State closer Kenny Long held Evansville scoreless through the final
2 2-3 innings to preserve a 5-4 Redbird victory Thursday evening at
Braun Stadium. ISU improved to 30-16 (9-8 in the Missouri Valley
Conference) to earn its third consecutive 30-win season for the
first time in program history. The Purple Aces fell to 30-24 (9-10).
"We faced good starting pitching tonight and a team that can
really play defense," said Redbird head coach Mark Kingston. "We got
just enough clutch hits, Chris Razo was very good, and Justin Hauer
and Long did what they've done all season to close the game out."
Razo (6-4) earned the victory after pitching 5 1-3 innings with three
strikeouts, three walks and three earned runs allowed. Hauer gave up
one earned run in one inning, and Long pitched the final 2 2-3 frames
without allowing a run while striking out three to earn his 13th save
of the season. Six Redbirds collected two hits in the balanced
scoring effort. Meanwhile, Evansville starting pitcher Cole Isom
(2-8) suffered the loss after throwing six innings, giving up five
earned runs with one strikeout.
Evansville took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, with a two-RBI
single by Trentt Copeland. But the Redbirds responded in the third,
as Mike Hollenbeck walked and later scored on a Ty Wiesemeyer
groundout. Illinois State took the lead in the fourth with a two-RBI
single by Hollenbeck, followed by a Brett Kay single to drive in
Eric Aguilera. Then in the sixth, Zac Johnson led off the inning
with a double and scored when Aguilera reached on a fielder's
choice to take a 5-2 lead.
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The Purple Aces pulled within 5-4 after scoring one run in the
sixth and one in the seventh. However, Illinois State's bullpen
teamed up to shut out Evansville through the final two innings
to secure the win.
The Redbirds will play the second game of the series Friday at 6 p.m.,
with Dylan Craig scheduled to make the start for ISU.
news release received from John Twork, graduate assistant,
athletics communications, Illinois State University]