blasts Redbirds past Evansville 5-4 in 10 innings
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[May 25, 2012] SPRINGFIELD,
Mo. -- Chad Hinshaw hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th
inning, and Kenny Long pitched a scoreless bottom of the frame to
lift No. 4 Illinois State to a 5-4 come-from-behind, 10-inning
victory against No. 5 Evansville Thursday morning at the State Farm
Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship.
With the win, the Redbirds advance to play No. 8 Creighton
Thursday at 4:07 p.m. at Hammons Field. If the Redbirds (33-18) beat
Creighton (24-28), ISU will force another game against the Bluejays
Friday, with the winner of Friday's matchup advancing to Saturday's
title game. If ISU loses Thursday afternoon, the Redbirds will be
eliminated from the tournament.
Hinshaw led Illinois State Thursday morning with a 2-for-5 effort on
two solo home runs, while Matt Mirabal and Kyle Stanton each went
2 for 4. Long (2-1) earned the win, after pitching the final three
scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Evansville reliever Josh
Biggs (4-3) gave up the go-ahead homer to Hinshaw in the 10th,
forcing Biggs to suffer the loss.
"Kenny came in and was able to stabilize the game," said Illinois State
head coach Mark Kingston. "He gave our offense an opportunity
to come back, and Hinshaw had a day that he will remember for the
rest of his life. I'm really happy for him and our team."
Evansville took an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning,
before the Redbirds responded with one run in the third as Mike
Hollenbeck led off with a single and scored on a Kyle Stanton
double. ISU then tied the game in the fourth inning, after Zac
Johnson doubled and scored on a base hit by Hollenbeck. However, the
Purple Aces quickly regained the lead with one run in the bottom of
the fourth. Evansville made the score 4-2 after plating another
run in the seventh.
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Then in the top of the eighth, Hinshaw homered over the left-field wall to pull the Redbirds within one. In the ninth, Kevin Tokarski led off with a single and scored on a double by Mirabal to tie the game 4-4. Hinshaw hit his second home run of
the day in the top of the 10th inning, with two outs, to put
Illinois State in front for the first time. Long then retired
the Purple Aces in order in the bottom of the 10th to secure
the extra-inning victory. With the loss, Evansville has been
eliminated from the State Farm MVC Championship.
No. 4 Illinois State will now face No. 8 Creighton Thursday at
4:07 p.m., with ISU freshman right-hander Jeremy Rhoades (4-3,
4.65 ERA) starting against Creighton senior right-hander Erik
Mattingly (1-4, 3.02 ERA). Mattingly suffered a loss against
Illinois State on April 28, allowing three earned runs on six hits
through six innings of work.
Live audio of the game will be
available on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com, with a live telecast
news release received from John Twork, graduate assistant,
athletics communications, Illinois State University]