Southeast Missouri State baseball team's offense finds rhythm in doubleheader sweep

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Southeast Missouri State assistant coach Chris Cafalone sends baserunner Trenton Moses to home plate during the fourth inning Friday at Capaha Field. (Laura Simon)

Little went wrong for the Southeast Missouri State baseball team Friday as the Redhawks began a three-game home series against Eastern Illinois that marked the end of the regular season.

Southeast built big leads in both ends of the doubleheader and held off late rallies to post the sweep, 9-5 and 9-6.

"It was a great day," junior third baseman Trenton Moses said. "Our pitchers threw great and any time you score nine runs in each game that's really good."

Senior Jordan Underwood remained undefeated in the opener, while senior Jon Dicus continued his recent solid pitching in the seven-inning nightcap.

Underwood, a left-hander, improved to 5-0. He allowed seven hits and two runs while striking out two and walking three in 6 2/3 innings.

Southeast Missouri State baserunner Michael Adamson slides safely into third in front of Eastern Illinois' Cameron Berra during the fourth inning Friday.

Dicus improved to 5-4 despite scuffling some early and late. He gave up 11 hits and six runs with two strikeouts and four walks in 6 2/3 innings.

"Both guys pitched well," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "They know how to make adjustments and find ways to get outs."

Dicus was one out away from his second career complete game after notching his first last week at Austin Peay. That 3-2 victory was Southeast's lone win during a series against the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season champion.

"It's always good to have complete games, but my pitch count was pretty high," said Dicus, who threw a career-high 111 pitches Friday. "I threw a lot better last week, but I was fairly effective today."

Dicus has been effective all season, his first as a starter after primarily being a reliever last year following his transfer from junior college.

Southeast Missouri State's Jordan Underwood pitches to an Eastern Illinois batter during the fourth inning Friday.

"It's been a lot of fun this year," Dicus said.

Said Hogan: "He never got in a rhythm last year. This year he found his rhythm early. He's thrown some great games."

Southeast's high-powered offense, which had been slumping a bit recently, got going again Friday with 25 hits, including three home runs.

The Redhawks had scored just 27 runs in their previous seven games, five of which they lost. They also had only one home run in their previous six contests but still entered their final series 17th nationally with 47 round-trippers.

"We needed that," senior right fielder Louie Haseltine said. "We hit the ball well all day."

Southeast Missouri State catcher Jesse Tierney watches an Eastern Illinois player at third base Friday.

Haseltine had one of the homers, a two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning in the second game to cap a six-run Southeast explosion.

It was just Haseltine's fourth home run of the season after he belted 17 during an all-conference campaign a year ago. He has struggled at the plate much of 2011.

"It was nice to get one more here [at home] and help the team win," said Haseltine, whose 32 career homers are tied for seventh in school history.

Haseltine, who went 2 for 5 with three RBIs Friday but is batting just .240 this season, said the personal frustrations during his final college season have been tempered by the Redhawks' success.

"It's about the team winning," he said.

Senior left fielder Michael Adamson had three hits in both games and finished the day 6 for 7. He got his seventh homer of the season in the opener.

Moses, an Advance High School graduate, went 4 for 7 with two doubles.

Senior first baseman Casey Jones went 3 for 8 with three RBIs.

Senior DH Brett Russell went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. He homered in the nightcap, his sixth of the season.

Senior center fielder Blake Slattery, a Central High School graduate, added three RBIs in the doubleheader.

Senior Trent Wise recorded the final two outs after EIU scored three ninth-inning runs.

The Panthers had another late push in the seven-inning second game, scoring twice in the final frame and sending the tying run to the plate. They also reached Dicus for three second-inning runs.

Sophomore Shae Simmons from Scott City recorded the final out on a ground ball for his fifth save of the season and 10th of his career, tying him for second place in program history.

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