Moses gets winning hit hours after trip to hospital
Monday, April 21, 2008
Trenton Moses spent much of Sunday morning in a local hospital. He never expected to play in a baseball game later in the day.
So much for those plans.
Moses was more than happy to oblige when Southeast Missouri State coach Mark Hogan sent him up to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and one out of a tie game with Samford.
The freshman from Advance High School came through, lofting a fly-ball single well beyond Samford's drawn-in outfield.
The walk-off hit to center plated Jim Klocke as the host Redhawks squeezed out a 7-6 victory, thus taking two of three in the Ohio Valley Conference series.
"It's a good feeling, and this is a huge win for us," Moses said.
Moses, who has been Southeast's starting third baseman most of the season, said he had a "102 degree fever the whole weekend."
Moses had two hits in Saturday's doubleheader opener, but did not play the second game as he continued to feel run down.
It was feared that perhaps Moses had mononucleosis, so he went to the hospital Sunday morning for a blood test.
Moses said he wasn't diagnosed with mono, but he said nurses at the hospital advised that he not play any baseball for a couple of days.
"They told me to take the day off," he said, adding with a smile, "but I figure pinch-hitting can't hurt."
Hogan figured the same thing.
"I asked him when he called me and said he was in the hospital, 'do you think maybe you can give me a pinch hit?'" Hogan said.
After Samford rallied from a 6-2 deficit, Southeast's ninth inning began when Klocke singled with one out.
Nick Harris and Zachary Blemker both walked to load the bases, at which time Hogan sent Moses up to hit for Kieran Bradford.
"I liked Trenton in that spot. He's a fly ball hitter," Hogan said, noting that all Southeast needed was something in the air fairly deep to end things.
Andrew Jones, Samford's third pitcher, was brought in to face Moses, who quickly fell behind 0-2.
A 1-2 pitch looked like it could have been called a strike, but it was ruled a ball as Samford's dugout howled.
"I let a pretty good pitch go by," Moses said of the 1-2 delivery. "I got lucky."
Moses barely got a piece of a 2-2 pitch to stay alive, then lofted a fly ball beyond the center fielder.
It marked Southeast's second straight walk-off victory in the series, after the Redhawks scored three runs in their final at-bat to win Saturday's doubleheader nightcap 11-10.
"I'm really excited for our club, the way they played this weekend after pretty much getting it handed to us the first game," said Hogan, whose squad lost Saturday's opener 11-6 for its sixth straight defeat.
Southeast (16-16, 7-6) moved up to fourth place in the 10-team OVC. Samford (23-14, 10-4) fell out of first place by one-half game.
"It was a good win. Everybody played hard," Blake Slattery said.
Slattery joined Moses as a local freshman to receive a big thrill Sunday.
Slattery, a right fielder from Central High School, hit his first collegiate home run, a third-inning solo shot beyond the 400-foot mark in center field.
"[The pitch] looked pretty good, and I took a big hack at it," Slattery said. "It was a good feeling."
Tyrell Cummings and Matt Wagner also homered as Southeast increased its OVC-leading total to 44, which is just one less than the Redhawks had all of last season.
Cummings, a junior college transfer center fielder, has10 home runs and 43 RBIs. He entered the weekend tied for the OVC lead in both departments.
Cummings, who extended his hitting streak to 12 games -- he had a game-winning, walk-off single Saturday -- is the first Southeast player to reach double figures in homers since 2003.
Wagner, who joined Klocke in getting two hits Sunday, has eight homers -- the same total as Harris.
"We've got some guys with some pop," Hogan said.
Lance Rhodes (1-3) notched his first win of the season by retiring all four batters he faced, including one in the eighth inning with the go-ahead run at third base after Samford had scored twice to forge a tie.
Andy Stephens from Scott City recorded the second out in the eighth against the only batter he faced.
"The job Lance did was off the charts," Hogan said. "And Stephens did a great job getting the lefty out."
Starter Josh Syberg, who had been struggling, allowed six hits and four runs in six innings as he left with a 6-4 lead.
"I thought Josh threw wonderful," Hogan said.
Southeast received a lift over the weekend from Blemker, a senior infielder who got off to a slow start and has seen limited playing time recently.
Blemker started at third base for Moses in the last two games of the series. He had an RBI triple Sunday and drew three walks. He went 4-for-6 with three RBIs in the series, along with playing strong defense.
"I'm really happy he went off the way he did," Hogan said.
Southeast plays at Arkansas State on Tuesday in a nonconference game.