Southeast Missouri State baseball team rebounds to beat North Dakota

Sunday, March 13, 2011

By John Unterreiner

Southeast Missourian

Louie Haseltine came up with a big hit when the Redhawks needed it the most.

The senior right fielder drove a three-run, two-out fastball over the left-field wall in the seventh inning for his 30th career home run to break a 6-6 tie and give Southeast Missouri State a lead it never relinquished.

"It was big," Haseltine said about his towering shot. "I had a couple opportunities in games earlier this season with guys in scoring positions in big spots and didn't come up with a hit, so it was good to get one today and help the team."

The Redhawks went on to claim a 13-6 victory Saturday with seven of their 13 runs coming in the final two innings. The win snapped a four-game losing streak.

Southeast avenged an 8-6 loss in the opening game of the series to improve to 8-6 overall and dropped the Fighting Sioux to 1-8. The squads conclude their three-game series at 1 p.m. today at Capaha Field.

Timely two-out hitting combined with impressive relief pitching keyed the Redhawks' victory after a back-and-forth start to the game.

"It's a lot like we've been doing lately with the score early," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "It's just kind of a seesaw thing going back and forth. That's what it's been for us the past four or five ballgames. Louie's big swing with two outs was obviously the difference in the game, and I thought the job [Trent] Wise and [Logan] Mahon did at the end to neutralize a good North Dakota offense was the difference. ... Big swing for us, and then we tagged on four after that. It looks like a runaway, but it was really a lot closer ballgame."

The Redhawks and Fighting Sioux traded blows early and often with both teams putting up six runs in the opening four and a half innings.

Southeast jumped on North Dakota starter Jake Swift in the second when Trenton Moses led off with a double and later scored on a Jesse Tierney groundout. The Redhawks added another when Haseltine lined a two-out single to drive in Casey Jones for a 2-0 lead.

North Dakota quickly tied it with a Josh Ray two-run single in the third, but the Redhawks took a 3-2 lead on a Moses single in the bottom half of the inning.

The Fighting Sioux chased Southeast starter Jon Dicus in the fourth after scoring two runs. North Dakota tagged Dicus with four runs, three earned, and nine hits.

Notre Dame Regional High School graduate Kirk Boeller worked out of runners on first and second with two outs to end the fourth.

Southeast turned in more clutch hitting in the bottom of the inning.

Kenton Parmley drove in Blake Slattery with a two-out single, and Taylor Heon fought off a pitch to right-center to plate two more runners and give the Redhawks a 6-4 lead.

"Earlier in the year, with our excellent 7-2 start, we were doing that a lot," Hogan said about the two-out hitting. "The last few games it seemed like we were battling in those spots but just not coming through. It's a lot easier to talk about it then it is to do it. The hitters have been feeling some pressure. We had a slow weekend offensively at Troy and we didn't do much [Friday] offensively and it's kind of been a struggle. Give the pitching credit for it on the other side, but it's nice to see us bounce back today with 15 hits."

North Dakota fought back to tie it in the top half of the fifth when Boeller hit a batter and walked a batter to drive in consecutive runs.

Southeast hurler Trent Wise relieved Boeller with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth. He came up with a huge defensive play to end the threat.

Wise faked a pickoff throw to third, spun around and fired a strike to Parmley at second to catch a napping Ryan Gerber.

"That's a big pickoff play at second base with the bases loaded," Hogan said. "That was huge. That's guys that have worked together a year, putting a great play together in a big spot right there. That might have been the play of the game up to that point."

Logan Mahon took over pitching duties for the Redhawks in the final three innings and was dominant.

The senior southpaw hurled three innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Mahon picked up the win to improve to 2-2 out of the bullpen.

"My fastball was on when I didn't try to overpower it," Mahon said. "It was right there. That's my pitch right now."

Southeast tacked on four runs in the eighth to break open the game.

Moses, from Advance, had three hits for the second straight game. Parmley and Jones also added three hits.

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