Redhawks split two games with North Dakota

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Southeast dropped the second game in strange fashion

The offensive numbers say Southeast Missouri State should have swept Saturday's doubleheader at Capaha Field.

But a bad inning and a weird play helped North Dakota pull out the seven-inning nightcap 6-5 after Southeast romped 15-4 in the nine-inning opener.

Southeast is 6-8 while North Dakota is 1-3. The teams will close out their three-game series at 1 p.m. today.

"We wanted to get two wins out of it," senior catcher Jim Klocke said. "Hopefully we can come out tomorrow and win the series."

The Redhawks had a 27-13 edge in hits, along with a 12-3 advantage in extra-base hits as they belted all of the day's four home runs.

Fighting Sioux coach Jeff Dodson was elated with the split after his squad notched its first win of the year against his former club.

Dodson spent five seasons as an assistant under Southeast coach Mark Hogan before taking over North Dakota's brand-new Division I program last year.

"It's always good to get that first win out of the way, and to get a signature win against a program like SEMO," said Dodson, who led the Sioux to a 14-29 record in 2009. "It's awesome to be back here. I've seen a ton of people I had ties with, a lot of friends."

Hogan was left to lament a four-run second inning by North Dakota in the nightcap that gave the visitors a 4-2 lead they would not relinquish.

The Sioux scored those four runs without hitting a ball to the outfield as they used two infield singles, two walks and three errors to do the damage. All four runs were unearned, with three coming in on an unusual play that featured two throwing errors.

"You just go back to the second inning," Hogan said. "Four runs without hitting the ball out of the infield."

Southeast still might have made up for that one poor inning before the weird play burned the Redhawks in the sixth.

Trailing 6-4, Southeast already had scored and had runners on first and third with nobody out.

With North Dakota's infield playing back and conceding the tying run, it looked like the Redhawks would come up with just that when Michael Adamson grounded a ball to second base.

North Dakota forced out Kenton Parmley at second and a return throw to first was wild as Tim Rupp scored easily from third.

The umpires ruled that Parmley had interfered with the North Dakota shortstop as he was trying to turn the double play, making Adamson out as well.

It shouldn't have been a problem since that only made two outs and Rupp easily had scored the tying run anyway.

But according to the rule book, Rupp had to return to third base even though North Dakota wasn't trying to get him out. It didn't make much sense to Hogan, who went to talk with the umpires. They promptly got out a rule book and showed the appropriate section to Hogan.

"The rule is you can't advance on an interference call," Hogan said. "I just needed to see it."

Said Klocke: "It's a tough call. But it's the rule. You have to live with it."

North Dakota was able to escape the inning with its 6-5 lead intact, then worked out of a jam in the seventh and final frame as Southeast left runners on second and third.

Jordan Underwood (0-3) took the loss despite allowing just one earned run in four innings.

Jeff Bunch was the star for North Dakota, driving in two runs and coming from behind the plate to the mound to record the final four outs for a save.

In addition to the defeat, Southeast continued to be burned by bad injury luck.

Already missing four key players due to injuries, Ky Burgess was lost in the third inning of the nightcap when he collided with the North Dakota first baseman.

Burgess already had four hits on the day, including three doubles, when he had to come out due to an apparent shoulder injury. The severity was not immediately known.

"It's beyond anything I've gone through in my career, with this many [injuries]," Hogan said.

Southeast's first-game romp was highlighted by 17 hits, including five doubles and four homers -- the Redhawks had just three home runs in their first 12 games -- along with the strong pitching of Kyle Gumieny.

Klocke, an All-American, entered the contest batting just .245 with one homer, which came in the season opener.

Klocke belted two out of spacious Capaha Field and drove in four runs.

"I'm seeing the ball a little better," Klocke said.

Louie Haseltine also homered, his first since the season opener, while Casey Jones got an inside-the-parker for his first Southeast home run.

Jones had four hits and four RBIs on the day. The junior college transfer leads Southeast with a .500 average.

Also remaining hot was junior Blake Slattery, who had a team-high five hits on the day, including a triple. The Central High School product is second on the squad with a .395 average.

Gumieny (2-0) shook off a slow start to retire the final 11 batters he faced. He struck out a career high 10 in seven innings, allowing five hits and three earned runs. He walked one.

"He pitched really well," Hogan said.

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