Indians dump Redhawks

Thursday, April 10, 2008
AARON EISENHAUER ~ Arkansas State's Guy Brown hit the glove of Southeast first baseman Matt Wagner as he dived back to first, causing Wagner to lose the pickoff throw during the second inning Wednesday.

With Arkansas State in desperate need of snapping an eight-game losing streak, the stars appeared to be aligned for the Indians.

Since ASU has no Sun Belt Conference series this weekend, the Indians could afford to throw their top starting pitcher at Southeast Missouri State.

While Southeast managed 10 hits and three runs off junior right-hander Chase Ware, visiting ASU was able to post an 8-3 victory Wednesday night.

The Indians, who are in 10th place in the 11-team Sun Belt, improved to 15-18. The Redhawks, who are second in the 10-team Ohio Valley Conference, fell to 14-11.

"It's really good to get a win. We've been struggling a little bit," ASU freshman first baseman Drew Benes said.

Besides Ware and three relievers who shut out the Redhawks over the final three innings, Benes was as responsible as anybody for Southeast's home loss.

Benes went 4-for-4 with three doubles and four runs batted in -- all with his father, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes, in the Capaha Field stands.

AARON EISENHAUER ~ Southeast's Jim Klocke hits a single in the first inning, driving in one run against Arkansas State on Wednesday, April 9, 2008.

Drew Benes, a graduate of Westmintser Christian Academy in suburban St. Louis, said Wednesday's game was the closest the Indians have played to his hometown all season.

"It was good to have my family here," said Benes, who leads the Indians with 13 doubles and 33 RBIs. He is tied for first in home runs with five. "My dad's usually able to pretty much get away to watch me play."

Benes, who entered Wednesday batting .258, said it was his first four-hit game as a collegiate player.

"It was good," he said.

Southeast first baseman Matt Wagner picked up a ground ball during the first inning of Wednesday's game against Arkansas State at Capaha Field.

Things were not as good for the Redhawks, who were hoping to continue building momentum following Tuesday's impressive 11-4 home win over a solid Southern Illinois squad.

The Redhawks had the same amount of hits as ASU -- 11 -- but stranded 10 runners compared to six for the Indians. The visitors also had six extra-base hits, while Southeast managed three.

"I thought we put the ball in play. We hit some balls hard," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "They played good defense."

With his eyes on this weekend's big OVC series at preseason favorite Jacksonville State, Hogan was limited in the pitchers he had available.

Arkansas State's Derrick Coleman rounded first as Southeast's Tony Spencer set under his high fly ball during the third inning.

Redshirt freshman Corey Harness, who had thrown just 2 1/3 innings this season, made his first collegiate start.

Harness allowed five hits and three runs in three innings. He struck out four and walked one.

"Corey did fine," Hogan said. "I was figuring three or four innings. ... It's not a bad start for him."

Southeast was still very much in the game after Harness departed, as the Redhawks -- who never led -- trailed 3-2 after five innings.

AARON EISENHAUER ~ Southeast's Corey Harness delivered a pitch to Arkansas State's Danny Riemenschneider during the second inning Wednesday.

That's where things got away from Southeast as junior Jake Kemper allowed three hits and four runs in the sixth inning, although two of the runs were unearned.

Kemper had been strong out of the bullpen for the Redhawks, owning all three of their saves.

Southeast's other four relievers largely did well, led by senior Lance Rhodes from Sikeston High School.

Rhodes worked scoreless fourth and fifth innings, allowing one hit. He leads Southeast with 11 appearances out of the bullpen and has a solid 3.54 ERA.

"He's thrown wonderful for us," Hogan said.

Sophomore Andy Stephens from Scott City High School threw a scoreless inning, as did junior Todd Strahlendorf.

"We had some guys throw well," Hogan said. "We wanted to win, but we were trying to set some things up for the weekend."

Sophomore shortstop Nick Harris tripled and doubled for the Redhawks, who also got two hits apiece from sophomore catcher Jim Klocke, junior second baseman Tony Spencer and junior outfielder Tyrell Cummings.

Klocke is batting a team-high .384.

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