March 24, 2007

Vikings Split Doubleheader At Wright State

March 24, 2007

Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score

Contact: Josh Rattray

DAYTON, Ohio - Cleveland State won the first game and dropped the nightcap of a doubleheader with defending champion Wright State on a rainy Saturday at Nischwitz Stadium. CSU's offense came alive in the twinbill, as the Vikings won the first game, 7-2, and lost the second contest, 11-10. Senior Stephen Procner went the distance to get his first win of the season in the first game and senior John Westra had seven hits on the day.

 

Procner (1-4) held the Horizon League's top hitting team to two runs on seven hits in the complete game effort. Both Wright State runs came on a two-run single by Justin Parker in the third, and he never was in any real trouble.

 

In addition to Procner's complete game, the Vikings had their best offensive output of the season. CSU pounded out a season-high 15 hits, including a solo home run off the bat of junior Bobby Cash that sparked a three-run top of the ninth that allowed Cleveland State to put Wright State away.

 

"When we score runs, it takes the pressure off the pitchers," head coach Kevin Kocks said. "That's the kind of great effort Procner always gives us."

 

Senior John Westra reached base in all five of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and two walks. Cash had two hits, two RBI and a stolen base while senior Rich Ranells, junior Carlos Laboy and sophomore Matt Madrid each had a pair of hits. Laboy had an RBI triple in the third, the Vikings' first triple of the season.

 

It was also the first game this season in which CSU has committed less than two errors, with the team's only miscue coming in the bottom of the ninth when it already led by five runs.

 

 

In game two, both teams jumped on the game's starting pitchers early before a 72-minute rain delay disrupted play. Sophomore Josh Hungerman yielded four runs in the first inning and was removed after giving up five runs on five hits over 1.1 innings.

 

CSU (3-16) answered with five runs in the top of the second to take a 5-4 lead. Westra doubled to right center to start then inning, and he immediately scored on a single by junior Theo Hudson. Ranells doubled and sophomore Nate Radtke reached on an error to set the stage for junior Wallace Richardson, who smacked a two-run double down the right field line. Radtke and Richardson would later score to give the Vikings the lead.

 

After Wright State's John Kopilchack scored in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 5-5, CSU regained the lead in the top of the third when Westra scored on a Ranells double. At the end of the inning, both teams were instructed to stay in their dugouts due to the rain.

 

Wright State (9-7) took control after the delay, tallying two runs in the third and another in the fifth to go ahead 8-6. Ranells cracked an RBI single that scored Cash to make it 8-7 before the Raiders added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh.

 

Cleveland State fought back with a two-out rally in the top of the eighth. After Cash singled and Geric was hit by a pitch, Laboy blooped a double to center that scored Cash and brought CSU within 10-8. Westra then belted a two-run single to tie the game 10-10, his seventh hit of the day.

 

With the game still tied in the bottom of the ninth, the Raiders put runners on first and second with the league's batting leader Ross Oeder at the plate. McKitrick got Oeder to ground to first for the first out. McKitrick then intentionally walked Dan Biedenharn to load the bases.

 

Kocks then brought in sophomore Jonathan Sprowls and added a fifth infielder, bringing Westra in from center to keep the ball in the infield. Jeremy Hamilton then ripped a pitch from Sprowls past Ranells at third to score Aaron Fields and win the game.

 

Westra finished the day 7-for-8 with two doubles, two walks and four RBI. Cash and Ranells each had five hits and three RBI. McKitrick (1-2) took the loss in the nightcap.

 

Game three of the series is tentatively scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Check CSUVikings.com for further updates.

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