Redbirds Travel to Illinois Tuesday Looking for Sweep
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April 16, 2012
The in-state rivalry between Illinois State and Illinois resumes Tuesday, when the Redbird baseball team travels to Illinois Field for ISU's second game against the Fighting Illini this season. The first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
Illinois State (20-12) will try to sweep the two-game season series against Illinois (18-16) after winning the first game, 16-7, March 27 at Duffy Bass Field. Kevin Tokarski hit a fourth-inning grand slam in the contest to give ISU the lead for good, and he finished with a game-high seven runs batted in, as the Redbirds scored 16 unanswered runs.
Jeremy Rhoades came on in relief of ISU's Johnny Lieske and Ryan Camp to earn the win. He pitched three innings of scoreless baseball and only allowed two hits, while striking out four. ISU's Justin Hauer and Kenny Long kept the Illini scoreless in the late innings. Jordan Parr led Illinois with a 2-for-4 performance, including two runs and one RBI.
The Redbirds will try to win their fourth-straight mid-week game, after losing both Missouri Valley Conference matchups at Missouri State last weekend. Meanwhile, Illinois is coming off of a three-game sweep at Big Ten Conference foe No. 18 Purdue.
Illinois State will start junior right-hander Brad Sorkin (2-2, 4.85 ERA), while Illinois will counter with freshman right-hander Reid Roper (1-0, 1.12 ERA). Sorkin earned the win last Tuesday at Northern Illinois, pitching six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out five. Matt Schmitt and Ryan Camp teamed up for the final three shutout innings of relief.
Chad Hinshaw will try to remain hot after leading the Redbirds last week with a .706 on-base percentage. He also batted .500 and slugged 1.300 with five hits, including two home runs and two doubles. Hinshaw also collected a team-best eight RBI, and he walked a team-high six times.
Tuesday's game marks the 77th meeting between the two schools, with Illinois leading the all-time series, 44-32.
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