Kelch blasts four hits as Redbirds sweep doubleheader at Arkansas
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[February 25, 2014]
— Joe Kelch tallied four hits and three RBIs as Illinois State
(4-1, 0-0 MVC) swept a doubleheader at Arkansas State (3-4, 0-0 Sun
Belt), 3-2 and 9-7, Saturday at Tomlinson Stadium. The Redbirds came
from behind to win the first game and held off a late Red Wolves rally
in the second game to secure the nonconference series win in Jonesboro,
Game 1 recap
Dylan Craig (1-0) allowed one run on four hits
over six innings to guide Illinois State to a 3-2 win in the first
game of the doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Arkansas State. Steve
Heilenbach and Jeremy Rhoades did not allow an earned run over the
final three innings to finish the win for Illinois State. Arkansas
State starter Chandler Hawkins (0-1) was ticketed for two runs in
5.1 innings and suffered his first loss of the season.
Arkansas State scored first, rallying for one run in the second
inning off Craig. Derek Birginske opened the frame with a walk and
was sacrificed to second base. After Craig struck out Dustin Jones
for the second out, Kevin Fitzpatrick rolled a ground ball into
right field to score Birginske and give the Red Wolves a 1-0
advantage. Craig settled in, allowing just two base runners over the
next three innings to keep it a one-run ballgame going into the
Brock Stewart opened the Redbird sixth inning with a walk and
advanced to second on Cody Voelker's base hit. Mike Hollenbeck
sacrificed both runners into scoring position. Arkansas State lifted
Hawkins with one out and two on and brought in Colton Kibler to face
Brian Rodemoyer. The Redbird first baseman struck out looking for
the second out, before Arkansas State went back to the bullpen and
brought in left-hander Coulton Lee to face Daniel Dwyer. Mark
Kingston inserted Joe Kelch as a pinch hitter, and the right-handed
batter launched a two-run double into the left field corner to give
Illinois State a 2-1 advantage. Both runs were charged to Hawkins.
Craig worked out of trouble in the sixth inning, exiting the game
with a 2-1 advantage.
The Redbirds added one run in the seventh inning as DeJong
launched a one-out double and scored on Stewart's run-scoring
single. Heilenbach allowed one unearned run over the next two
frames, paving the way for Rhoades in the ninth.
Rhoades walked two in the final inning, setting up a two-on,
two-out situation with runners on second and third in the ninth
inning. On a 3-2 pitch, Rhoades struck out Austin Baker to secure
his second save in as many days and cap a 3-2 Redbird win.
[to top of second column]
Game 2 recap
Joe Kelch and Daniel Dwyer paced Illinois State with three hits
each as the Redbirds held off Arkansas State 9-7 in the seven-inning
nightcap of the doubleheader Saturday. The Red Wolves rallied for
four runs in the bottom of the seventh before David Suarez picked up
the first save of his college career to clinch the series win for
Illinois State scored three runs in the first inning off Arkansas
State starter Morgan Croft (0-1). Mike Hollenbeck, Dwyer and Kelch
had three straight run-scoring singles to give J.D. Learnard (1-0)
an early lead. Croft was lifted after 3.2 innings and Learnard
worked four complete innings for the win.
Arkansas State added one run in the third inning and one more in
the fourth inning off Learnard; however, only one of the two runs
was earned. Illinois State added two runs in the fourth inning,
scoring on RBI knocks from Sean Beesley and Dennis Colón.
Cam Verbeke replaced Learnard and allowed one run in the fifth
inning before working a perfect sixth inning. In the Illinois State
sixth, Beesley beat out a fielder's choice to plate Dwyer, giving
the Redbirds a 6-3 advantage going into the final frame.
In the top of the seventh inning, five straight Redbirds reached
base, and Hollenbeck, Dwyer and Kelch drove home runs off Adam
Grantham to extend the lead to 9-3.
Nine Red Wolves would bat in the bottom of the seventh inning,
with four runners scoring. With two outs and two on, Suarez battled
Lucas Feddersen, resulting in a fly out to Dwyer to end the game.
After winning three games versus Arkansas State, the Redbirds
finished the four-game series with a nine-inning contest on Sunday
afternoon. (See report.)
news release received from
Illinois State University]