Southeast Missouri State baseball team rallies for 11-inning victory

Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Southeast Missouri State's Blake Slattery drives home the winning run against Central Arkansas with a sacrifice fly during the 11th inning Tuesday at Capaha Field. (Fred Lynch)

Blake Slattery didn't expect to play Tuesday.

He instead drove in the winning run, helping the Southeast Missouri State baseball team notch a comeback victory.

Slattery's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning lifted Southeast past visiting Central Arkansas 6-5. It was the Redhawks' only lead.

The Redhawks improved to 6-2 while handing the Bears (6-1) their first loss. The squads conclude their two-game series at Capaha Field today with a 2 p.m. start.

"It's a big win for us, to battle back like that," said Southeast coach Mark Hogan, whose club trailed 5-2 before pulling even with a three-run eighth inning.

Slattery, a senior outfielder from Central High School, went to center to start the top of the fourth inning after senior Nick Harris injured a knee while striking out to end the bottom of the third.

"I wasn't expecting to play. It was a sad thing when Nick got hurt," Slattery said. "But we've been putting guys in late so you always have to be ready."

Slattery made the most of his potential day off with two hits, a walk and a run scored before the winning blow.

Junior second baseman Taylor Heon led off the 11th with a single. Senior shortstop Kenton Parmley also singled.

Pinch-runner Tim Rupp was forced at third on a failed sacrifice attempt by junior catcher Jesse Tierney, but a wild throw to first allowed the runners to move up to second and third.

Senior left fielder Michael Adamson was intentionally walked to load the bases. Slattery then delivered his fly ball to deep left field to score Parmley.

"I was looking for something up. I was able to put the bat on it," said Slattery, who added with a smile: "I was hoping it would be a hit."

Heon, who missed most of last season with a knee injury after starting the year strong, also came through with the bases loaded to aid Southeast's comeback.

Heon's two-run, two-out single capped the three-run eighth inning.

"I saw the ball up and I went after it," said Heon, fully recovered from the injury and off to another solid start. "It's great to be back. It was tough last year.

"We're playing well right now. We got real good pitching late and our bats finally came alive."

Said Hogan: "A big swing by Taylor, really clutch. And Blake, just great situational hitting. He stayed in there."

Southeast's bullpen was crucial after UCA built a 4-1 lead through four innings off senior left-hander Josh Syberg.

Four relievers held the Bears to one run and three hits over the final seven innings.

"The bullpen was the key to the game," Hogan said. "We just shut them down the last few innings."

Senior lefthander Logan Mahon had three dominant innings to notch the win. He allowed one hit and one walk while striking out four.

"He was amazingly good," Hogan said.

Senior Kirk Boeller from Notre Dame Regional High School fired off three innings of two-hit, one-run ball after replacing Syberg.

"He gave us three real good innings," Hogan said.

Junior college transfer lefthander Ryan Prickett retired the only batter he faced and senior Trent Wise had a scoreless inning before Mahon finished.

"They all did really well," Hogan said.

Southeast outhit UCA 14-6. Parmley, Adamson, senior right fielder Louie Haseltine and junior third baseman Trenton Moses from Advance joined Slattery and Heon in getting two hits apiece.

Moses tripled and Parmley doubled.

UCA freshman Jonathan Davis had the day's only home run, a two-run shot in the second inning that gave the Bears a 2-0 lead.

"They're a good team and they'll come ready to play [today]," Slattery said.

Hogan said he didn't know the extent of Harris' injury.

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