Redbirds end Music City trip on high note | GoRedbirds.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Brad Sorkin matched a career-high with eight innings pitched and Zac Johnson connected on a grand slam as Illinois State (3-6) defeated Belmont (9-3), 14-3, Sunday afternoon at E.S. Rose Park. The Redbirds snapped a six-game losing streak and set season-highs for runs and hits.
Sorkin (2-1) earned his first victory since Feb. 15, working eight innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits, collecting four strike outs with four walks. At one point Sorkin retired 12-consecutive batters. James Buckelew (1-1) suffered the loss for Belmont, allowing seven runs, five earned, on five hits in 3.1 innings. Buckelew struck out five and walked four. Illinois State drew a season-best 10 walks in the game.
Brett Kay reached base four times and scored three runs, Eric Aguilera had three RBI and Johnson added a grand slam as Illinois State collected 15 hits. Brock Stewart had three hits and Chad Hinshaw stole two bases for ISU. Judah Akers had two RBI for the Bruins.
Kay reached on an error to open the game, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He scored the first run of the day on Aguilera’s two-out RBI-single. The Redbirds added an unearned run in the third inning following Stewart’s leadoff single.
The Redbirds sent 11 batters to the plate in a five-run fourth inning. Hinshaw opened the frame reaching on an error and promptly stole second and third bases. He scored on Brian Rodemoyer‘s first-career single, making it 3-0 ISU. Kay drew a walk and Jack Czeszewskireached on a hit-by pitch, loading the bases for Johnson, who launched the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for a grand slam. Buckelew was chased from the game after walking Aguilera.
Illinois State added a pair of runs in the fifth inning off Belmont reliever Jordan Deal. Czeszewski and Johnson reached, setting up a two-run double from Aguilera, giving Illinois State a 9-0 lead.
Belmont scored twice in the sixth inning and added one run in the eighth.
The Redbirds tallied five runs in the eighth inning. Stewart collected a two-run double and the Redbirds scored three runs when Bruins leftfielder dropped a pop-fly with the bases loaded and Johnson batting.
Razo struck out the side in the ninth to preserve the win.
The Redbirds travel to SIUE for a midweek matchup Tuesday, March 5. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.
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