Forecast has Redhawks, Bears in waiting mode

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The teams will not play today, but they may play two games Wednesday

The forecast of rain today has pushed back the start of Southeast Missouri State's 11-game baseball homestand, but coach Mark Hogan is still excited about having so many upcoming contests at Capaha Field.

Today's scheduled opener of a two-game series with Missouri State has been postponed.

The teams were supposed to finish the set at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Hogan said that start time is up in the air as the coaches will decide today whether to play a doubleheader Wednesday or just a single game as originally planned.

"We'll talk about it and make a decision, along with the time we'll get going," Hogan said. "Either way we've got a lot of home games coming up and we're really looking forward to it."

The Bears, from Springfield, Mo., went 34-20 last year and won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title. Keith Guttin entered the campaign 938-573 in 27 years as MSU's coach, an average of 35 wins per season.

But the Bears (4-6) have quite a few new faces -- much like Southeast -- and have started slowly, although they did win the last three of a four-game weekend series against North Dakota State.

The Bears swept the Redhawks by a combined score of 29-5 during last year's two-game series in Springfield.

"They've had some [player] turnover, like we have, but their program speaks for itself," Hogan said. "They'll have outstanding players. They always do.

"They waxed us last year. I haven't forgotten it."

Southeast is 4-7, which includes five straight losses.

The Redhawks have suffered three losses in extra innings and another by one run, all to teams from the Southeastern and Big 10 conferences.

This past weekend, at the BankFirst Challenge in Starkville, Miss., the Redhawks dropped extra-inning games to Mississippi State of the SEC and Michigan State of the Big 10. They also fell by a run to Mississippi State.

"We faced some really tough competition over the weekend and played well," Hogan said. "It's a shame we didn't get out with some wins, but there were a lot of bright spots.

"We've been playing some good ball. I've been encouraged by what I've seen. Our club is growing."

MSU has struggled offensively with a .254 batting average, although that figure improved considerably during the Bears' past three wins.

Sophomore Travis McComack is MSU's top hitter with a .381 average (16-for-42), with senior Christian Overstreet at .375 (9-for-24).

Southeast is batting .303, led by junior college transfer Casey Jones at .500 (11-for-22). Another juco transfer, Tim Rupp, is next at .385 (10-for-26).

Sophomore Kody Campbell leads the Redhawks with eight RBIs while carrying a .313 average (10-for-32).

"We've been swinging the bat well," Hogan said.

The Redhawks, a power-hitting club the past several seasons, have just two home runs. Both came in the season opener. Last year Southeast had 71 homers.

The pitching staffs of MSU and Southeast have identical 5.56 ERAs.

After MSU, Southeast will host North Dakota for a three-game weekend series, featuring a doubleheader Saturday and a single contest Sunday.

North Dakota is coached by former Southeast assistant Jeff Dodson.

Modglin plays for MSU

Former Scott City High School all-stater Ryan Modglin is a sophomore at MSU. He saw limited action as a pitcher and hitter last year but has not yet appeared in a game this season.

Modglin batted .200 in 20 at-bats and hit the first grand slam by an MSU freshman since 1997. On the mound he compiled a 7.71 ERA in seven innings covering four appearances, including two starts.

Ball boys needed

The Southeast baseball program is looking for boys in grades 4 through 8 to help retrieve foul balls during home games.

Ball boys will be required to arrive 10 minutes before the start of home games and stay until the end. They will be responsible for retrieving all foul balls and returning them to the Southeast dugout.

Each ball boy will receive a free Southeast baseball hat and T-shirt. Those who work a minimum of eight games also will be eligible to attend any Southeast baseball camp free of charge.

For more information, call 986-6002.

Golf event April 19

The Southeast baseball program's annual golf scramble, this year named the Baseball Golf Extravaganza, will be April 19 at Bent Creek Golf Course in Jackson.

The event, co-sponsored by Saint Francis Medical Center, is the Redhawks' biggest single fundraiser. It's limited to 32 teams and costs $175 per player or $700 per team. The entry fee includes Redhawks apparel, lunch, refreshments and practice balls.

The scramble starts with lunch at 10:30 a.m., followed by a noon tee time.

For more information, call 986-6002.

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