Southeast Missouri State University student publication

SEMO baseball falls short in series opener against Indiana State

Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Junior pitcher Esteban Hernandez looks into his dugout for signs. He pitched 3.1 innings, striking out one and allowing one hit.
Photo by Matt Cagle

The Southeast Missouri State baseball team lost the opener of their two-game series against the Indiana State Sycamores 8-3 on March 7.

The Redhawks were down early to start the game. Back-to-back hits in the first inning by the Sycamores put them ahead 1-0. The inning after a runner was caught trying to steal home on a passed ball.

A hit by pitch and two straight walks loaded the bases with one out for the Redhawks in the second inning. A third walk generated by junior utility player Petyon Leeper brought home the first run of the game for the Redhawks, tying the game at one apiece. However, the offense would not be able to capitalize again in the inning.

A two-out rally by the Sycamores put the Redhawks in a 4-1 hole in the third inning. SEMO’s junior starting pitcher Jonah Sarabia was relieved by junior pitcher Esteban Hernandez after he was unable to record the final out.

The Redhawks would get momentum back in the fourth inning. A two-run home run by freshman infielder Caleb Rogers followed a double and put the team within one run. The home run was his first hit in his collegiate career.

“It was great. I haven’t had a lot of success at the plate but you just gotta go up there with a clear mind and compete,” Rodgers said.

Relief pitching kept the Redhawks in the game. Hernandez only allowed one hit in 3.1 innings of work. Freshman pitcher Eddie White was tagged for one run on two hits in one inning of work.

“I felt pretty good,” Hernandez said. “My stuff was alright and I was trying to keep us in the game. I was executing pitches, getting ground balls and pop flies.”

The eighth inning was costly for the Redhawks. Still down by one, back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly put them down by two runs. A passed ball, walk and error led to a two-run single, adding to the Redhawks’ deficit.

SEMO was unable to overcome the four runs, falling to the Sycamores. The Redhawks had nine at-bats with runners in scoring position but only got one hit in those at-bats.

“I think the thing that stands out is the lack of production with runners in scoring position,” head coach Andy Sawyers said. “We’re scoring too many runs via the home run and we’re not keeping the line moving and it’s frustrating.”

The Redhawks will play the second game of the series at 3 p.m. March 8 at Capaha Field.