Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Redbirds walk off twice to take Valley-opening series vs. Bradley

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[March 25, 2014]  TERRE HAUTE, Ind.  Illinois State (15-5, 2-0 Missouri Valley Conference) swept a doubleheader versus Bradley (13-5, 0-2 Missouri Valley Conference) on Friday to claim a Missouri Valley Conference series win in Terre Haute, Ind. Logan Leverett clubbed a walk-off three-run home run to run-rule Bradley 13-1 in seven innings in game one. David Suarez earned a win in relief and knocked a walk-off RBI single in his first collegiate at-bat to secure a 7-6 come-from-behind win in game two.

After the doubleheader, the Redbirds were a season-best 10 games over .500.

Game one recap

Sean Beesley reached base three times, tallied three RBIs and scored three runs to help guide Illinois State to the 13-1 run-rule victory over Bradley in the Missouri Valley Conference opener Friday afternoon in Terre Haute, Ind. Dan Savas (6-0) allowed one unearned run on four hits with one strikeout to earn the complete-game win for Illinois State. Savas has now won 16 consecutive decisions, dating back to 2013, and secured his 19th career win at ISU.

Illinois State jumped to an 8-0 lead after two innings and chased Bradley starter David Koll (2-2) from the game in the second inning. Koll finished with six earned runs allowed in 1.2 innings and suffered the defeat. Mike Hollenbeck lifted a sacrifice fly to score Beesley in the first inning, and Illinois State sent 13 batters to the plate in a seven-run second inning. ISU received RBI at-bats from Beesley, Paul DeJong, Hollenbeck and Brock Stewart in the frame. Peter Resnick took over for Koll with two outs in the second inning and worked the final 4.1 innings for the Braves. He allowed seven earned runs on nine hits.

Daniel Dwyer and DeJong added back-to-back run-scoring at-bats in the third inning to build the Redbird advantage to 10-0. Bradley scored one run in the fourth inning before Illinois State ended the game in the seventh. Rodemoyer and Stewart reached to open the frame and scored on Leverett's first collegiate home run, a towering shot that cleared the fence in left-center field.

Savas worked two 1-2-3 innings for Illinois State and earned the sixth complete game of his career.

Game two recap

Illinois State rallied for four runs over the final three innings to come from behind and defeat Bradley 7-6 in game two Friday at Bob Warn Field. David Suarez (2-0) worked the final two innings, allowing no runs with three strikeouts to earn the victory in relief. Suarez also knocked the game-winning RBI single to center field in the bottom of the ninth inning to set off a wild celebration on the infield. It was the first-career RBI, single, at-bat and plate-appearance for the second-year Redbird.

Hollenbeck put Illinois State on the board first with a run-scoring single to drive home Beesley in the first inning. Bradley then rallied for five runs on just three hits to claim a 5-1 lead on Illinois State. All five runs were unearned off Illinois State starter Dylan Craig, who finished with six innings pitched and eight strikeouts. Hollenbeck slapped a two-run single in the third inning to pull the Redbirds within two.

[to top of second column]

Bradley scored one run off Ben Hecht in the seventh inning to extend its lead to 6-3 and put runners on first and second base with two outs, but Will Headean recorded the final out, a strikeout, to end the threat and keep the game within reach.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Illinois State loaded the bases with two outs, and Brian Rodemoyer roped a single to drive home one run. Bradley shortstop Tyler Leffler committed a throwing error on the play, allowing a second run to score, bringing ISU within one at 6-5.

Suarez entered the game for the eighth inning and walked one batter, but he finished a scoreless frame for the Redbirds. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Illinois State tied the game with one run off Sean Safko (0-1). Leverett opened the inning with a single, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and scored on Dwyer's two-out, run-scoring infield single, which tied the game at 6-6. Suarez allowed two hits in the ninth inning but struck out the side to set up the bottom of the inning.

Hollenbeck struck out to begin the Redbird half of the ninth inning. Joe Kelch singled and Brian Rodemoyer was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. Suarez showed bunt on the first pitch he saw, before Mark Kingston called for time and to give his pitcher the green light to swing away. Suarez lined the next pitch into center field to score Kelch and secure Illinois State's sixth consecutive win.


Game 1 box score   (PDF)

Game 2 box score   (PDF)

ISU overall statistics as of March 21   (PDF)

[Text from news release received from Illinois State University]


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