Thursday, May 01, 2014
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Late Redbird Rally Falls Short 8-6 Against Purdue

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[May 01, 2014]  NORMAL — The Illinois State baseball team faced an eight-run deficit in the seventh inning Tuesday night in nonconference action against Purdue and fought back with six runs late, but it was not enough as the Redbirds (29-13) snapped a seven-game winning streak and fell to the Boilermakers (12-29) by a score of 8-6 at Duffy Bass Field.

Redbird starter Will Headen (3-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings of work. Matt Lambert came in to relieve Headen and was touched for three runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. Ben Hecht came in to pitch the final three innings and allowed just one run while striking out five batters.

Hits were hard to come by early in the game for the Redbirds, as Purdue pitchers Kyle Wood and Adam Dresser held ISU to just three hits through the first four innings of play. Matt Frawley (1-0) came in during the fifth inning and allowed three runs on two hits in the seventh inning but did pick up the win in relief. Patrick Kenney took the mound in the eighth with the game on the bases and shut the game down, picking up the two-inning save.

The game was scoreless through the first four innings, before the Boilermakers broke out with four runs in the top half of the fifth inning. Wood drove in a pair with the bases loaded, and a single to right field and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kyle Johnson allowed Sean McHugh to score from third base for the third run of the inning. A single by Kyle Upp then plated Wood for the final run of the frame to give the Boilermakers the four-run lead.

Purdue tacked on three more runs to make the score 7-0 in the top of the sixth inning, thanks to a bases-clearing double that split the gap in left-center field off the bat of McHugh. Lambert would come back and strike out the side the rest of the way to get out of the frame. Brandon Kreig’s RBI double in the top of the seventh inning pushed another run across the plate to make the score 8-0 in favor of Purdue.

Illinois State ended the shutout bid by Purdue by scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Back-to-back two-out walks by Daniel Dwyer and Paul DeJong got the rally started, and Mike Hollenbeck cleared the bases with a double into left-center field to make the score 8-2. Hollenbeck would then come around to score when Brock Stewart followed with a RBI single up the middle to cut the Purdue lead to 8-3.

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ISU added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to cut the Purdue lead to two runs at 8-6. Mason Snyder led off the inning with a walk, and Matt Krenz was then hit by a pitch. Sean Beesley followed and reached on a field error by the Purdue second baseman to load the bases, and Dwyer walked in the next at-bat to force Snyder in from third base. DeJong followed with a RBI single through the left side to score a pair of runs and cut into the Purdue lead.

However, a strikeout by Hollenbeck on a bunt attempt with two strikes and a strikeout by Stewart left the inning in the hands of Logan Leverett, who grounded out to end the threat in the eighth. After Dennis Colon fouled out to the catcher to start the ninth inning, Snyder was hit by a pitch and advanced to first with one out. Joe Kelch pinch hit and made solid contact, but it was lined right at McHugh, who threw to first to double off Snyder and end the game on a double play.

The Redbirds will return to action Friday in nonconference action against in-state foe Western Illinois. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Macomb.


Box score:
Purdue 8, Illinois State 6   (PDF)

[Text from news release received from Illinois State University]

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