Redhawks' offensive funk continues in two setbacks

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Southeast's losing streak reached six games after one-run defeats.

MARTIN, Tenn. -- Southeast Missouri State's offensive funk continued Saturday, as the Redhawks started Ohio Valley Conference play with a doubleheader loss.

Despite receiving strong pitching, the Redhawks fell to host Tennessee-Martin 3-2 and 2-1. The opener, scheduled for nine innings, went 10, while the nightcap was a seven-inning affair.

The Redhawks (6-13, 0-2) have lost six straight games. They'll play the Skyhawks (7-13, 2-0) again today at 1 p.m. in a nine-inning contest as the three-game series concludes.

Southeast entered play Saturday with a .226 batting average, by far the worst in the 10-team OVC. The Redhawks' 74 runs also were last in the conference.

The Redhawks did nothing to help those figures, as they managed just 11 hits in the doubleheader. Southeast has scored seven runs in its last five games.

Dustin Pritchett provided much of the offense Saturday. After missing the past two weeks with a wrist injury, Pritchett returned to go 4-for-6, including a double.

No other Southeast player had more than two hits in the twinbill.

Tennessee-Martin -- next-to-last in the OVC with a .261 batting average prior to Saturday -- managed just 13 hits in the two games.

Southeast held slim leads for much of both contests, but could not hold on, as missed opportunities haunted the Redhawks.

In the opener, the Redhawks grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but they managed just one run despite loading the bases with nobody out. Levi Olson's sacrifice fly scored Pritchett, who had doubled.

The Redhawks broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth when Asif Shah's sacrifice fly scored Daniel Schuh, who had doubled.

Southeast failed in a chance to stretch its 2-1 advantage in the sixth, when the Skyhawks wriggled out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam. Tennessee-Martin then got a run in the seventh to forge a 2-2 tie.

That's the way things stood until the bottom of the 10th. Zach Dean led off with an infield single, was sacrificed to second and scored when he stole third and came around on catcher Olson's throwing error.

Starter Jamie McAlister allowed six hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Josh Parham, a Jackson High School graduate, was the tough-luck loser. In three innings, Parham (0-1) gave up just two hits and the unearned run in the 10th.

Parham kept things tied 2-2 in the seventh after replacing McAlister with the bases loaded and one out. Parham got a strikeout and fly out.

Micky Dobson (2-1) allowed one hit in four scoreless innings of relief to pick up the victory.

Pritchett had three of Southeast's seven hits.

Four hits in nightcap

Southeast grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning of the nightcap as Phillip Riley's sacrifice fly scored Pritchett, who had walked.

But the Redhawks did not further damage, as they left seven men stranded despite having just four hits.

The Skyhawks scored both their runs in the fifth, capitalizing on four of the five hits they had off Anthony Maupin.

Maupin (1-3) pitched all six innings, striking out four and walking none.

Jacob Smothers (2-3) also went the distance, walking five and striking out four.

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