SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Dylan Craig allowed only one run over seven innings to guide Illinois State (23-12, 6-5 MVC) to a 6-1 Valley win over Missouri State (17-18, 6-5 MVC) Saturday afternoon at Hammons Field. Illinois State out-hit the Bears, 13-3, to force a rubber match in the series Sunday.
Craig (5-1) struck out six, walked three and scattered three hits. Brock Stewart (1) worked the final two innings with one strikeout and one walk to secure his first collegiate save. Clay Murphy (2-3) allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings to suffer the defeat.
Paul DeJong paced the Redbird offense and matched a career-high with four hits. He launched a two-run home run in the ninth inning and added a pair of doubles. Joe Kelch, making his first start since March 29, joined Sean Beesley, Dennis Colon, and Brian Rodemoyer with two hits each.
The Redbirds rallied for three runs in the second inning to take an early lead. With one out, Stewart drew a walk and advanced to second on Kelch’s single. Beesley followed with a bunt single to load the bases with one out. Down 1-2 in the count, Colon slapped a two-run single to right field. Rodemoyer plated Beesley on a fielder’s choice to make it 3-0 Illinois State in the second inning.