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Redbirds take down EIU Panthers, 9-4

Nick Thompson/Photographer: Will Headean led the Redbirds to a 9-4 victory over the Eastern Illinois Panthers with a career-high six strikeouts, three walks and four scattered hits.

Nick Thompson/Photographer: Will Headean led the Redbirds to a 9-4 victory over the Eastern Illinois Panthers with a career-high six strikeouts, three walks and four scattered hits.

Illinois State baseball (18-8, 4-2 MVC) trampled Eastern Illinois (7-21, 2-7 Ohio Valley Conference) in the Redbirds’ home-opener Tuesday afternoon thanks to Will Headean’s career-high six strikeouts. The game ended in a 9-4 decision.

“Will was good today,” head coach Mark Kingston said. “Will got off to a really tough start this year but he corrected some things with [our pitching coach] and his last five outings out of the bull pen were actually really good and we saw some glimpses that he was back to where we needed him to be.”

Headean earned his first win of the season, allowing only one unearned Eastern Illinois run in six innings of work.

Headean took care of six EIU batters with strikeouts, walked three and allowed four hits.

Five EIU pitchers made it to the mound and Jake Haberer was charged with the defeat. He was responsible for three runs, all earned and just one hit. He walked four batters and struck out one.

Panther Demetre Taylor’s RBI-single gave EIU a 1-0 lead off of the Redbirds in the first.

For the third time in two games, ISU batted their whole lineup in an inning. It sent 11 batters to the plate in the second inning, scoring six runs on two hits.

Dennis Colon, Sean Beesley and Daniel Dwyer drew three bases-loaded walks in a row to up the score, 3-0. Paul DeJong added a two-run single and a sixth run was scored on an error.

Headean hit his stride after the first inning and during one point in the game, retired seven consecutive batters.

DeJong drove in his third run on a triple hit in the sixth inning to raise the Redbird advantage, 7-1.

Both teams plated two runs in the eighth inning and the Panthers scored once in the ninth inning to finish off their offensive campaign.

“Nine runs when you get 11 walks I don’t think is good enough and  I think our team is better than what we showed today, but once again we play the game to win, we won the game, so we’ll take that and we’ll move on,” Kingston said.

The Redbirds return to action at 12 p.m. Saturday, April 5 when they take on Southern Illinois in Carbondale.

 

 

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