NORMAL — Dallas Baptist hitters versus the Illinois State bullpen has been a one-sided affair this weekend.
The Redbirds squandered leads of 4-0, 7-3 and 11-9 on Saturday at Duffy Bass Field, and Dallas Baptist erupted for six 10th-inning runs to claim a 17-11 Missouri Valley Conference victory.
ISU relievers, who had surrendered seven runs in four innings during a 9-4 loss Friday, were blistered for 10 in 4⅔ innings Saturday.
“If you would tell me we would have a 7-3 lead after five and they would beat us by six, I would say you’re crazy,” ISU coach Bo Durkac said. “But it’s the same old, same old.
"It’s gut wrenching to lose in the manner we’re losing when we have leads in the middle and late innings and can’t find someone to come out of the pen and lock it down.”
Dallas Baptist (19-9, 2-0) bested the Redbirds for the 13th straight game and hold a 15-1 margin over ISU since joining the Valley.
“That was a great game,” said Patriots coach Dan Heefner. “They were swinging the bats really well. We couldn’t stop them at all. But I’m proud of our offense how they kept at it, kept plugging away.”
ISU (10-15, 1-4) held an 11-9 lead after three seventh-inning runs came home on a bases-loaded walk to Collin Braithwaite and a two-run pop fly single off the bat of Noah Sadler that landed barely fair and out of the reach of third baseman Tim Millard.
But Redbird reliever Colton Johnson walked the first two batters of the ninth. The tying runs came in on a one-out Millard single up the middle.
“Colton was pitching well. We thought he was the guy (for the ninth),” Durkac said. “Then he comes out in the ninth with a two-run lead and walks the first two guys. It’s baffling to me.”
Dallas Baptist stung Kyle Pauly (0-1) in the 10th with a huge rally. After a one-out infield single, Pauly bobbled a sacrifice bunt try for an error.
Jameson Hannah singled home the go-ahead run, Matt Duce followed with a three-run double off the outfield wall and Jimmy Glowenke’s double chased around two more.
“Something we pride ourselves on is we’re going to have really competitive at-bats,” said Heefner. “You may not get the hit, but if you wear a guy down you do something to help the team out. If you keep doing that guy after guy, you’re going to get them in the end.”
Dallas Baptist starter Kody Funderburk walked the first two batters he faced in a four-run ISU opening inning. Joe Aeilts drove in the final pair with a two-out single to left field.
ISU starter Brady Huffman was hurt by the home run ball. Funderburk cracked a three-run homer in the third and Glowenke did the same in the sixth.
Redbird Noah Sadler blasted a solo home run in the fifth and finished with four RBIs. John Rave’s run-scoring double in the fourth extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
Patriots reliever Sean Boyle (1-1) held ISU scoreless over the final 3⅓ innings to notch the win.
The start of Sunday's series finale has been moved up to noon from its original 1 p.m. first pitch.