Craig Sharp; Three Home Runs Power ISU over SIU, 6-1

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[May 22, 2014]  TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Dylan Craig struck out a career-best 11 batters and #5 Illinois State (32-21) clubbed a season-best three home runs to top #8 Southern Illinois (26-30), 6-1, in MVC Championship action Wednesday afternoon at Bob Warn Field. The Redbirds will now play the winner of Thursday morning’s 9:07 am EDT game between the Salukis and #4 Wichita State at 4:07 pm EDT Thursday.

Craig (6-2) pitched eight innings for the third time this season and surrendered only an unearned run on three hits. He was set to take the field for the ninth inning, vying for his second-career complete-game, but a 2-hour, 16-minute lightning delay before the ninth inning prevented him from returning to action. David Suarez worked a perfect ninth inning to secure the win. Southern Illinois Starter Todd Eaton (3-3) surrendered six runs, all earned, on nine hits over five innings for the defeat.

Illinois State struck first on Paul DeJong’s two-run home run in the first inning. It marked DeJong’s ninth homer this spring and scored Daniel Dwyer.

Craig was perfect through four innings and struck out the side in the third inning to preserve the early lead.

Mike Hollenbeck opened the Redbird fourth inning with a double and scored on Logan Leverett’s two-out, run-scoring single. The base hit extended ISU’s lead to 3-0.

Jack Czeszewski powered a solo home run with one out in the fifth inning and Hollenbeck added a two-run shot, his ninth-career home run, three batters later to cap the scoring.

Illinois State out-hit Southern Illinois 11-3 and has now won 12-consecutive games versus the Salukis.

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

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