VALPARAISO, Ind. — With the help of seven strong innings from Derek Salata and a two-RBI day from Daniel Pacella, Illinois State baseball took down Valparaiso 10-3 Saturday to clinch the series win in the season finale.
In the final start of his career, Salata allowed just two runs on seven hits and three walks with nine strikeouts. His 120 pitches were his most of the season as he lowered his season ERA down to 4.08 — the lowest single-season ERA of his career.
Pacella helped back Salata's strong performance with a two-hit, two-RBI day. He gave the Redbirds an early lead with his third home run of the series before adding insurance with an RBI single in the seventh.
He finished the season first on the Redbirds in home runs with 16, first in RBIs with 56 and tied for first in hits with 63.
ISU pulled ahead for good in the fourth as Nick Strong followed up Pacella's solo home run with a two-RBI double to put the Redbirds up three.
The Beacons added two runs between the sixth and eighth innings, but the Redbirds answered each time with with a two-run seventh and a four-run ninth.
Kolton Scherbenske and Erik Kubiatowicz combined to record the final six outs of the Redbirds' season as they clinched the series win.
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