Relievers deliver in Redhawks win

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Southeast Missouri State baseball team rode stellar relief pitching to its fifth win of the young season.

Three Southeast relievers held host Saint Louis University to one run and two hits over the final seven innings during Tuesday's 6-5 victory in Sauget, Ill.

The Redhawks improved to 5-2 while SLU fell to 4-4.

Sophomore Brad LaBruyere from Central High School received credit for the win as he improved to 2-0.

LaBruyere relieved starter Josh Syberg in the second inning. Syberg, a junior left-hander, retired just four batters and was charged with four runs, two earned. He allowed five hits.

LaBruyere gave up one run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.

Senior left-hander James Leigh then continued his dazzling start to the season.

Leigh worked three hitless innings, striking out three and walking one. Leigh has allowed only one run in 14 2/3 innings.

Junior Jim Klocke closed out things with a hitless ninth for his second save. He struck out one and walked one.

Klocke, an all-conference catcher, never had pitched in a collegiate game before this season. He hasn't allowed a run in five innings.

Klocke got Southeast off to a strong start with his second home run of the season, a one-out solo shot in the top of the first inning.

Senior first baseman Matt Wagner followed with a two-out blast -- his team-high fourth homer of the year -- to give the Redhawks an early 2-0 lead.

The Billikens went ahead with a four-run second in which they knocked out Syberg. Only two of the runs were earned.

Southeast tied it at 4-4 in the third, but SLU surged back on top in the bottom of the frame.

The Redhawks answered with a two-run fifth.

Junior center fielder Nick Harris delivered an RBI single to tie the contest, and senior second baseman Tony Spencer scored on a wild pitch to put Southeast ahead. Spencer had reached on an error.

LaBruyere, Leigh and Klocke made sure the lead stood up.

Southeast finished with eight hits, led by junior backup shortstop Kendal Deason.

Deason, from Kelly High School, went 2-for-2 with a walk despite not starting the game. He scored the tying run in the fifth inning after leading off with an infield single.

Deason is 3-for-3 in his first season with the Redhawks.

SLU had seven hits by seven different players.

Southeast returns to action today with a 3 p.m. contest against NAIA St. Catharine (Ky.) College that begins a nine-game homestand for the Redhawks.

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