Late Runs Lift Oakland over Western Illinois, 2-1
Brett Impemba doubled in the winning run in the eighth inning.
May 16, 2013
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Brett Impemba drove in the game-winning run with a pinch-hit double in the eighth inning, while Robby Enslen hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning, to lead Oakland (17-33, 12-13) to a 2-1 win over Western Illinois (18-32, 9-14) on Thursday at the OU Baseball Field. Russell Luxton Jr. earned his seventh save of the season.
"Our pitchers did a great job today pounding the zone and getting ahead of their hitters," said OU coach John Musachio. (Jason) Hager, (Luke) McCarty, (Logan) Sparkman and (Russell) Luxton all pitched very well. We played a strong game defensively. When you throw stikes and play good defense, you typically have a great chance to win. Big time clutch hitting by (Robby) Enslen and (Brett) Impemba."
Left-handed pitcher Jason Hager (3-6) threw 6.0 strong innings, allowing a solo home run and struck out seven. Relievers Luke McCatty and Logan Sparkman tossed scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Sparkman earned his first win of the season.
LHP Aaron Michel had a no decision for the Leathernecks. He tossed 6.0 scoreless innings, surrendering just two hits and struck out three. Neil DeCook led WIU offensively by going 2-for-3.
WIU's Steve Kedroski connected on a solo home run in the top of the second inning to give the Leathernecks a 1-0 lead. Enslen would respond for the Golden Grizzlies with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning with a solo blast to left field off of RHP Sam Welvaert.
Nolan Jacoby led off the eighth inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Bobolts. Impemba was then called upon by Coach Musachio to pinch hit and delivered a big two-strike double to right-center field to score Jacoby and give OU a 2-1 lead.
Luxton was able to record two quick outs in the ninth inning on a strike out and ground out to second base. The Leathernecks would then post a pair of singles to put runners at first and second base. After a wild pitch put the tying and winning runs in scoring position, Luxton induced a fly out to right field to end the game.
Oakland scored two runs, on five hits and had no errors, while Western Illinois scored one run, on seven hits and had no errors.
Game two of this four-game Summit League series will be on Friday at 4:30 p.m.