Huge fifth inning lifts Indians past Tenn. Tech

Monday, May 6, 2002

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Southeast Missouri State University used a huge fifth inning Sunday to win another Ohio Valley Conference series.

The Indians scored eight runs in the fifth to go ahead for good as they defeated Tennessee Tech 12-6. The squads had split Saturday's doubleheader.

Southeast, which has either swept or taken two of three in all five of its OVC series so far, improved to 25-15 overall and 12-3 in conference play. The Indians continue to lead the league by 2 1/2 games over Eastern Illinois, which visits Capaha Field this weekend.

Tech, in seventh place in the eight-team OVC, fell to 22-23 and 5-9.

"It was a great performance by the entire club. I was really proud of them," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "Today was a gut check after we got spanked yesterday (9-2 in the second game). It was a big ballgame for us."

The Indians, who have won eight of their last nine games and 18 of 22, jumped on top 3-0 in the first inning but found themselves behind 4-3 entering the fifth.

Southeast then exploded for eight runs -- all scoring before anybody was retired. Vern Hatton's single scored Zach Borowiak, who had led off with a double, to tie things and Tristen McDonald's double plated Hatton with the go-ahead run.

The Indians had six hits in the fifth inning, including Denver Stuckey's three-run homer, his fourth of the season.

"That's the loudest inning we've had this year and the loudest inning we've had in a while," Hogan said.

Tim Alvarez recovered from a shaky start -- he allowed four runs and five hits over the first three innings -- to pitch all nine innings and improve his record to 4-0. He blanked the Eagles from the fourth through the seventh and finished with a 10-hitter, striking out two and walking one.

"Alvarez settled down, threw strikes and our defense was good today," said Hogan, whose squad had one error Sunday after committing six in Saturday's doubleheader.

Stuckey went 3-for-6 and had three RBIs to lead Southeast's 16-hit attack as he finished the series 7-for-14.

David Lawson had two hits and three RBIs for the Indians while Hatton, Borowiak, Brian Hopkins and Brice Nicholas all added two hits. McDonald and Eric Hoffman both had two RBIs.

Jesse Johnson and Jake Allen both homered for the Eagles.

David Grigsby, the second of three Tech pitchers, took the loss. He allowed four hits and six runs in the fifth inning as he failed to retire a batter.

Southeast will return to action Tuesday when the University of Missouri visits Capaha Field for a 5 p.m. non-conference game. It will be River Eagle Distributing Day, with free food and beverages.

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