Luke Lawrence UIC

Luke Lawrence takes an at-bat for Illinois State Sunday against Illinois-Chicago. Lawrence led ISU with six RBIs in its win over Valparaiso Friday on the road. 

VALPARAISO, Ind. — Illinois State baseball's offense exploded in a 20-10 win over Valparaiso Friday at Emory G. Bauer Field one day after the Redbirds were eliminated from Missouri Valley Conference Tournament contention. 

Redshirt freshman Luke Lawrence led the way for ISU with six RBIs and a 5-for-6 day at the plate. The third baseman had a home run in the fifth and a two-RBI ground-rule double in the sixth. 

The Redbirds advanced to 19-30 on the season and 8-18 in the MVC. They evened the series 1-1 with the Beacons. 

Auggie Rasmussen hit a grand slam just after the Redbirds took the lead during a seven-run seventh inning. ISU entered the inning down 8-7 before taking a 14-8 lead. Rasmussen also hit a double during the game.  

Noah Rabin and Daniel Pacella each hit a home run and drove in three runs. Rabin went 4 for 5 while Pacella's RBIs all came on a three-run shot in the eighth inning. 

ISU put up six insurance runs in the top of the eighth, including Pacella's three-run homer. ISU shut down the Beacons in the eighth to force the mercy rule. 

Luke Cheng, Shai Robinson and JT Sokolove each drove in one run in the Redbirds' win. 

Five Redbirds pitched in the win while freshman Ryan Borberg got the decision. Borberg threw two innings and allowed two runs on two hits as the fourth man to take the mound. 

Starter Jayson Hibbard allowed six runs on six hits in three innings of work.

Valpo's Ryan Mintz got the loss as he allowed 10 runs on eight hits in 1.2 innings. One run was unearned. The Beacons used four pitchers. 

REID WATKINS is Sports Editor for The Vidette. Watkins can be contacted at Follow Watkins on Twitter at @rwatkinssports.

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