Redbirds Take Two From Purple Aces in Saturday Double Feature
Written by Mikey Fornelli on April 25, 2021
Image courtesy of goredbirds.com
NORMAL Ill.- Saturday the Illinois State baseball team (15-22, 6-5 MVC) swept Evansville (20-17, 5-9 MVC) in both games of a doubleheader, only a day after falling 12-0 in Friday’s series opener.
They took a rainy first game 6-3, behind a home run and two RBIs from Ryan Cermak and a six inning, five-strikeout, two-run winning outing from pitcher Jordan Lussier. Jake McCaw also had two hits and an RBI of his own, and pitcher Derek Salata got a save.
“Our team has a lot of trust in him as an individual.” Head Coach Steve Holm said on Lussier, “he’s done a great job for us this year pitching after a loss. You have to give a lot of credit to him.”
With the skies now sunny and clear, the teams returned to the field with the exact same starting lineups as game one for part two of the day’s doubleheader. ISU took another win, 8-7, with Colin Wyman going four innings and allowing only one earned run in his first career collegiate start. Erik Kubiatowicz got the save, pitching innings eight and nine and allowing only one run. The Redbirds had a lot of success from the plate, especially in the middle part of their lineup which featured another home run by Ryan Cermak (3-4, 2 RBIs), a home run by Jack Butler (2-3, 3 RBIs), and solid performances by Joe Butler (2-2, 2 RBIs) and Jake McCaw (4-4, 2 runs). Evansville’s Mark Shallenberger went 4-5 with 4 RBIS, including two doubles, a triple and a home run.
“This is probably the best offensive team I have assembled as a coach.” Holm said, “There has been a couple of weekends where you can see all nine guys firing at the same time, and I think that was evident today.”
With the series now 2-1 ISU, the two teams will return to Duffy Bass Field on Sunday at 1 pm for the weekend’s finale.