Walk-Off Single Downs the Redbirds in Memphis 6-5
Senior Mike Hlavacek threw well in his first collegiate start, allowing just two runs in four innings of work
Senior Mike Hlavacek threw well in his first collegiate start, allowing just two runs in four innings of work

March 13, 2007

Box Score

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Illinois State baseball team has had a flair for dramatics and has come from behind to win four games this season. On Tuesday, however, it was Memphis that sparked some late-inning magic as the Tigers (9-5) scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to come back and defeat the Redbirds (6-7) by a score of 6-5 at Nat Buring Stadium. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for ISU.

Junior Eric Theisen (1-3) suffered the loss for ISU, as he came on in the bottom of the ninth inning in an attempt to close out the game. Theisen allowed the winning run on two hits but did not record an out in the ninth. Memphis reliever Dusty Davis (2-0) earned the win for Memphis in relief of starter Garrett Hatchel. The left-hander allowed two runs on two hits in 4.1 innings of work on the mound while striking out three ISU batters.

"I thought Mike Hlavacek stepped up big time for his first collegiate start and Tyler Cox and Jim Sajewich both gave us an opportunity for the win," said Brownlee. "I wish Kyle O'Brien would have been available to close out the game for us, but he threw three innings on Sunday so we decided to use Eric. We didn't score in the last three innings and that came back haunt us with the big error in the eighth. Our kids really played well and the deserved to be rewarded with a win today."

The Redbirds jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, thanks to a costly Memphis error. With one out, Matt Bolt laced a double off the right field wall to give ISU a runner in scoring position. Ryan Anetsberger then struck out swinging as Bolt attempted to steal third base. As Bolt was sliding into third, Memphis catcher Chris Kirkland overthrew his third baseman however and allowed Bolt crossed the plate for the first run of the game.



ISU would add its second run of the game in the top of the third inning to bring the score to 2-0 when Kevin Dubler doubled into right-center field to score Bolt from second. One more run would cross the plate in the top of the fifth inning for the `Birds, as Anetsberger singled into right field and scored Dan Weston from third base after he reached on an error earlier in the inning to give ISU a 3-0 lead.

Memphis would answer in the bottom half of the fifth inning and tie the game at 3-3. The first two runs of the inning came courtesy of a two-run home run by Chris Kirkland and a double later in the inning by Adam Amar scored K.K. Chalmers for the tying run.

In the top half of the sixth inning, the Redbirds would regain the lead 5-3 courtesy of a two-out, two-run home run over the left field wall by Kyle Cherney, his first in a Redbird uniform. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Tigers would cut the ISU lead to one at 5-4 on a throwing error by Dubler that allowed Michael Murray to score from second base.

That error would prove costly, as Memphis would rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to come back and win 6-5. With the bases loaded and one out, designated hitter Joey Lieberman singled into the gap in left-center field to bring in the winning runs off Theisen.

Sophomore Dan Sorce (0-1, 12.79 ERA) will start on Tuesday in the finale of the two-game set with Memphis. He will face off against Dylan Cupples (0-1, 1.93), with the first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. at Nat Buring Stadium.