Southeast's offense rolls Hornets

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Southeast Missouri State coach Mark Hogan congratulates Jim Klocke on his home run as he rounds third base during the bottom of the fifth inning Wednesday at Capaha Field. (LAURA SIMON)

The Southeast Missouri State baseball team is in a stretch that has it playing 10 of 11 games on the road.

Southeast took advantage of its lone home date during that period by rolling past Harris-Stowe 10-2 on Wednesday night for its third straight win.

The Redhawks improved to 23-14, including an 18-3 home record. Harris-Stowe, an NAIA program from St. Louis, is 25-20.

"It's always great to play at home," sophomore shortstop Kenton Parmley said. "We're pretty solid at home."

Southeast's usual suspects did plenty of damage, including senior catcher Jim Klocke and junior third baseman Casey Jones, who are in a tight battle for the Redhawks' RBI lead.

Southeast Missouri State first baseman Brett Russell fields a ground ball during the top of the fifth inning Wednesday.

Klocke belted a two-run homer and added a sacrifice fly, giving him 49 RBIs on the season. That came after he had four RBIs during Tuesday's 13-1 romp at SIU-Carbondale.

Jones drilled a three-run homer and added a run-scoring single to give him 49 RBIs. He piled up six RBIs at SIU.

"It [the RBI battle] comes up softly between the two of us," said Jones, a junior college transfer who is batting .446 to rank among the nation's leading hitters. "We give each other some trouble."

Added Klocke, like Jones a St. Louis native: "We played grade school ball together, so any time we can compete, it's fun."

Klocke, an All-American and four-year starter who ranks high on many of the program's single-season and career lists, has hit safely in 25 straight games, the nation's fourth-longest active hitting streak.

"It's fun, but I just try to do my job at the plate," said Klocke, whose average is .375.

Junior right fielder Louie Haseltine, who leads Southeast with 13 home runs, also is in the running for the RBI title. He had a two-run double included in his two hits Wednesday, giving him 44 RBIs. Haseltine, batting .366, extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

Parmley and junior left fielder Michael Adamson both went 3 for 5, Adamson raising his average to .422 and Parmley boosting his to .367.

Southeast finished with 12 hits and is batting .355, among the national leaders.

The Redhawks used seven pitchers, who combined on a six-hitter. Five of the hurlers turned in scoreless performances.

Jon Dicus took care of the first two innings in hitless fashion. He received the victory, the first Southeast decision for the juco transfer who primarily has been a reliever this year.

Junior Corey Harness allowed one hit over two innings. Firing off one scoreless frame apiece were Adamson, senior Kirk Boeller from Notre Dame and freshman Shae Simmons from Scott City.

"It was a good tuneup for us," said Southeast coach Mark Hogan, whose squad has outscored its last three opponents 38-4. "I like the way we're playing."

Harris-Stowe starter Josh Manning, who pitched at Southeast in 2008 primarily in a relief role, turned in a solid performance.

Manning (8-4), a senior who leads the American Midwest Conference in wins, allowed six runs, just three earned, and eight hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked none.

Another former Southeast player, junior Blake Dirnberger from Scott City, is the Hornets' starting center fielder who is batting nearly .300 on the season.

Dirnberger, who received just three plate appearances in his only Southeast season last year, had an RBI single in the eighth inning and also made a great catch against the wall to rob Jones of a double.

"Manning's got a good arm. I liked him when he was here," Hogan said. "Blake looked really good out there. I had a nice visit with them before the game and I wish those guys the best."

Two more local players on the Harris-Stowe roster are freshman pitcher Drew Coleman from Jackson and sophomore catcher Waylan Sparkman from Perryville.

Coleman did not see action but Sparkman received a late plate appearance, flying out to center field.

Southeast resumes Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend at Jacksonville State. The squads are tied for first place in the OVC with 8-4 league records.

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