Redhawks settle for split of weekend series with Northern Iowa

Monday, March 9, 2009
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com
Northern Iowa's Grant Grgurich steals second base as Southeast Missouri State second baseman Tony Spencer applies the late tag during the eighth inning Sunday at Capaha Field.

Southeast Missouri State and Northern Iowa started Sunday's series finale about 90 minutes late after a storm hit Cape Girardeau.

The Redhawks probably wish the contest had been washed out completely.

UNI, after being swept in Saturday's doubleheader, bounced back with an 11-5 victory to salvage a split of the four-game set.

Southeast fell to 7-5. The Panthers, who captured Friday's series opener, are 6-6.

"They're a good team," Southeast junior catcher Jim Klocke said. "They came out ready to play, and we were a little flat to start."

Southeast Missouri State's Justin Wheeler makes a throw from left field after a hit by Northern Iowa during the first inning.

Southeast's explosive offense produced 27 runs and 26 hits Saturday.

But the Redhawks' bats were silenced in the Friday and Sunday matchups, with six runs and 14 hits.

The Redhawks managed nine hits Sunday, but four came in a four-run ninth inning.

After using up much of their pitching in the first three games of the series, both teams reached into the depths of their staff Sunday.

UNI's arms went relatively unscathed.

"We hit OK, we just didn't have any timely hits," Klocke said.

UNI junior college transfer Carlos Pinedo allowed three hits and one run in the first four innings.

Freshman Colin Rea fired four shutout frames before giving up four ninth-inning runs. Sophomore Keith Worner recorded the game's final out.

"They might have found a couple of guys today," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said of UNI's pitchers. "It's hard for me to figure. ... yesterday it was like the ball was sitting on a tee.

"I just have to hand it to what they were doing on the mound."

Things started bad for the Redhawks and got progressively worse.

Junior left-hander Josh Syberg lasted just one-third of an inning. Leadoff batter Deric Manrique ripped Syberg's second pitch of the day over the right-center field wall.

One out and two walks later, Jason Summers belted a two-run double to make it 3-0. After Syberg (2-1) allowed a single to the next hitter, his day was done.

Senior Ryan Poole stopped the bleeding for a while as he held the Panthers to one run over the ensuing four innings before being charged with three runs during a four-run sixth that pushed UNI's lead to 8-1.

It was 11-1 before the Redhawks made things a bit more respectable in the ninth.

"They're a good team. Hat's off to them," Klocke said.

Senior second baseman Tony Spencer went 3-for-5 to lead Southeast's offense.

Senior right fielder Tyrell Cummings had two hits and two RBIs. He is the only Southeast player to hit safely in all 12 games.

Freshman shortstop Kenton Parmley added two hits for the Redhawks.

Summers had a huge day for the Panthers with two doubles and five RBIs.

"There's highs and lows in baseball," Klocke said. "We just have to stay on an even keel."

Southeast returns to action Friday against Northern Illinois in the start of another four-game home series.

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