Sheridan solidifies No. 3 bid with win

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Andy Sheridan's first collegiate start just might get him another one soon.

Sheridan, a junior-college transfer who had pitched only four innings this season for Southeast Missouri State University, threw six scoreless frames Tuesday in the Indians' 9-2 defeat of the St. Louis Billikens at chilly Capaha Field.

With Southeast coach Mark Hogan in search of a No. 3 starter for the beginning of Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend, Sheridan very well could have jumped to the top of the list.

"Our coaching staff still has to talk about it, but right now I've got to hand the ball to Andy for the third game this weekend," said Hogan, referring to the Indians' OVC home series with Murray State. "He threw great. He shut down a decent club."

Sheridan, a left-hander who pitched at Southeastern Illinois Community College last year, gave up four hits while striking out five and walking one to earn his first victory. He has allowed just one earned run in 10 innings this season.

"It was a big outing for me," he said. "I had some control problems early in the year, but I've been working on it the last few weeks and it finally came to me. Consistency is the big thing."

The Indians (7-10), who broke a three-game losing streak, did all their scoring in two innings to dispose of the Billikens (9-11), who helped out with six errors that led to eight unearned runs.

Southeast broke a scoreless tie with a five-run fifth, using four hits and two errors. Vern Hatton had the big blow, a two-run double, while Denver Stuckey added an RBI double.

The Indians put the game away with a four-run sixth to go up 9-0.

Stuckey, Clemente Bonilla and Brice Nicholas each had two of Southeast's 10 hits. Hatton drove in four runs while Stuckey and Zach Borowiak both added two RBIs.

"After losing three straight, getting this one was a big relief," Hogan said. "We might have been the only team in the Midwest to play today, but we needed to get on the field. We didn't want to go into this weekend with a bad taste in our mouth."

Southeast ace Brad Purcell, getting work in prior to the Murray State series, worked two innings and allowed both St. Louis runs in the seventh.

Ryan Govek, another candidate for the No. 3 starting spot who had not pitched in a while because of an injury, worked a perfect ninth, with two strikeouts.

"It was great to see Govek throw," Hogan said. "He looked good."

The Murray State series will start Friday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader. Southeast's scheduled non-conference game at Illinois today has been postponed because of snow in Champaign, Ill.

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