Friday, May 23, 2014
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Redbirds Blank Wichita State, 6-0, To Open MVC Championship

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[May 23, 2014]  TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Dan Savas and Jeremy Rhoades combined to shut out #4 Wichita State (29-27) as #5 Illinois State (31-21) topped the Shockers, 6-0, in opening round action of the Missouri Valley Conference Championship Tuesday morning at Bob Warn Field. The Redbirds will play the winner of #1 Evansville/#8 Southern Illinois Wednesday afternoon in a 4:07 p.m. EDT start.

Savas (8-4) earned his first victory since March 28 at Indiana State. The Redbird ace went 6.2 scoreless innings with six walks and eight strikeouts. Jeremy Rhoades (4) pitched 2.2 scoreless relief innings, with four strikeouts, for his team-best fourth save. Wichita State used five pitchers in all and starter Cale Elam (7-2) suffered the defeat. Elam allowed two runs, both earned, on six hits over seven innings.

Brock Stewart sparked the Redbird offense with four RBI and Mason Snyder added three runs scored. Illinois State out-hit Wichita State 10-6 and the Shockers stranded 13 men on base.

Snyder’s one-out double in the second inning gave Illinois State its first base runner of the contest. Stewart followed with a run-scoring single to center field to give ISU the early lead.

The Shockers loaded the bases with two outs in the third inning, but Savas induced an inning-ending groundout from Tyler Baker to end the threat. Savas struck out at least one batter in each full inning he pitched.

The Redbirds added a run in the sixth inning to extend their lead to 2-0. Snyder drew a one-out walk and later scored on a wild pitch from Elam.

Wichita State threatened in the seventh inning, putting two men on with one out in front of Missouri Valley Conference Hitter of the Year Casey Gillaspie. The Redbirds turned to Rhoades, who needed one pitch to induce a 4-6-3 inning-ending double play to preserve a 2-0 Redbird lead.

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The Shockers then brought in Aaron LaBrie to pitch. He put two men on and surrendered a three-run home run to Stewart. It marked the 10th-career home run for Stewart and his third shot this spring.

Illinois State added one run in the ninth inning and Rhoades worked out of trouble to secure the win.

Game 52 Box Scores

Game 52 Overall Stats

[Text received:  RONAN O'SHEA, ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY] Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.

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