Tuesday, April 29, 2014
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Colón's Sacrifice-Fly Caps 15-Inning, 2-1 Marathon Win

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[April 29, 2014]  NORMAL — One day after drawing a walk-off walk in the bottom of the 12th inning, Illinois State (28-12, 9-5 MVC) battled for 15 innings before topping Southern Illinois (21-22, 3-11 MVC) Saturday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field. Dennis Colón's one-out sacrifice fly scored Jack Czeszewski to set off a celebration on the infield. The win moved Illinois State to a season-best 16 games over .500 and put the Redbirds at 10-2 in home games this spring.

On a day when the wind was blowing in hard from left field, strong pitching dominated the afternoon. David Suarez (3-1) worked a career-best 6.1 innings and tallied a career-high seven strikeouts to earn the win in relief of Dylan Craig. Craig tallied 8.2 innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts for a no-decision. SIU starter Todd Eaton fired a career-high 10 innings of one-run ball for a no-decision. Lee Weld worked three scoreless innings, and Kyle Preumer (2-4) was ticketed with the loss.

Eaton retired the first 11 Redbirds in order before surrendering a two-out solo home run to Paul DeJong in the fourth inning. The blast cleared the fence in right field for the eighth home run this spring from DeJong. SIU tied the game one inning later on an RBI-knock from Parker Osbourne.

Craig stymied the Salukis with 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh frames to preserve a 1-1 tie. In the ninth inning, Craig retired the first two batters he faced before walking Will Farmer and Tyler Rolland. Suarez then entered the game and walked Conor Kopach to load the bases, with two outs, before fanning Osbourne on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat. The pitch ended up getting past Mike Hollenbeck, but Osbourne never left the batter's box, and Hollenbeck threw him out at first base for the third out.

The Redbirds had scoring opportunities late, stranding men on base in the ninth, 11th, 12th and 13th innings. In the 15th inning, Czeszewski opened the frame with a walk. After Brian Rodemoyer struck out, Pruemer hit Logan Leverett and Joe Kelch back-to-back to load the bases. Colón lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, but Osbourne's throw to home plate was up the line to end the game.

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The three-game Valley series was scheduled to close Sunday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field. Impending thunderstorms moved the game to a noon start. Following the contest, Illinois State players, coaches and support staff would shave their heads to honor the second annual Vs. Cancer baseball game.


Box score   (PDF)

Overall statistics   (PDF)

[Text from news release received from Illinois State University]

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