Stalowy's Single Powers ISU to 2-1 Victory In 11 Innings
May 6, 2007
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State Redbirds and Saint Xavier Cougars played 18 innings of baseball on Saturday and they must not have played enough, as the two squads had to play 11 innings on Sunday to decide the weekend series. However, it was ISU who came out on top as Mike Stalowy hit a walk-off single to propel the `Birds (20-25) to a 2-1 win in 11 innings over the Cougars (29-19) at Redbird Field.
Both squads received stellar pitching performances out of their starters, as Tyler Cox allowed just one run on three hits in 6.0 innings of work and SXU starter Bryant Myjack gave up just one unearned run on five hits in eight innings on the hill. ISU reliever Jim Sajewich (3-1) came in for Cox and picked up the win, as he surrendered just two hits and struck out three in five scoreless innings of work. SXU reliever Shawn Bosler (1-1) suffered the loss, after giving up the go-ahead run in the 11th inning.
The game was scoreless until the Cougars plated a run in the top of the fourth inning. With one out, Nick Tantillo walked and then advanced to third base on a single by John O'Brien. Brian Grupp followed with a deep fly ball to centerfield, which allowed Tantillo to score on the sacrifice fly and put SXU up 1-0.
The score would stay that way until the bottom of the ninth inning, when the Redbirds tied the game at 1-1. Mike Tokarski led off the inning with an infield single and then Tyler McNeely reached on an error to give ISU two runners on base with nobody out. Stalowy followed with a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners and then Kevin Dubler was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Ryan Anetsberger was up next and flew out to centerfield, but it was deep enough for Tokarski to score and the `Birds sent the game into extra innings.
After a scoreless tenth inning, Sajewich shut down SXU in the top of the eleventh inning to leave the game knotted at 1-1. Bosler, who came in to relieve Shane Longest, walked Tokarski to lead off the inning. Tokarski then stole second base and McNeely reached on the sacrifice bunt as the Cougars attempted to throw out Tokarski at third base. That set the scene for Stalowy, who singled deep into right field over SXU right fielder Zach Clements' head to plate Tokarski for the winning run.
Stalowy finished the day 2-for-4 with a RBI, while Tokarski went 2-for-3 and scored both Redbird runs. O'Brien led the way for the Cougars with two hits while Grupp had the lone RBI on the day.
Illinois State will return to action on Friday, May 11, against Creighton to begin its final home series of the season. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Redbird Field.