News From Terre Haute, Indiana

College

May 24, 2014

MVC Tournament: Shaw, Turbin lead Dallas Baptist to title

Patriots win championship in first appearance

TERRE HAUTE — Dallas Baptist baseball coach Dan Heefner never intended to keep pitcher Joseph Shaw in his back pocket. It just turned out that way.

Heefner had hoped to pitch Shaw in Dallas Baptist's Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament opener, but Shaw pitched too many innings in DBU's final regular season series.

So into Heefner's back-pocket Shaw went. It might be the best decision Heefner made, even if he hadn't planned it. Once Heefner sprung Shaw on Illinois State, the Patriots' MVC title hopes were assured.

Shaw, who started DBU's season as its closer, threw 6 1/3 innings and struck out eight Redbirds. He kept the Patriots in position to make its three-run eighth inning decisive in a 4-1 victory that gave the Patriots their first MVC tournament championship in their first season of participation in the league as a baseball-only member.

"[Shaw] could not have been better. He got us out of a lot of jams," Heefner said. "We were grooming him to be a starter in this conference tournament. The ideal situation was to have him start game one, but he was completely ready to start the game. We didn't know he'd go that long. We thought five innings was best case scenario."

Dallas Baptist (40-19) earned the MVC's automatic NCAA Tournament bid. The Patriots were likely in the field anyway, but that wasn't the case for Illinois State, who felt the pressure. Shaw left several Redbirds hitting their bats on the field turf in disgust.

"I knew I'd start sometime and I was ready. I had fastball command and my slider worked. I had them chasing," Shaw said. "When you have guys getting frustrated, it makes it a whole lot easier."

Illinois State (33-22) had the upper-hand for most of the contest on the strength of a second-inning Brock Stewart home run to right field. Illinois State starter Dan Savas kept the Patriots' bats quiet, but ominously, also walked several DBU batters. He had five walks overall.

The number Illinois State will rue is 13. That's the number of runners the Redbirds left on-base as they squandered several scoring chances. The Redbirds had runners in scoring position in the third and fourth innings and had the bases loaded in the fifth and seventh innings.

The Redbirds did not score a single run in any of the innings.

"Dallas Baptist got that one big hit we couldn't get. We had the bases loaded a bunch. We just couldn't break through," Illinois State coach Mark Kingston said.

Dallas Baptist tied the game in the top of the seventh when Austin Listi hit a solo home run to left field off of Savas, but it seemed Illinois State could cash in against a tiring Shaw in the bottom half of the seventh with two on and one out.

Heefner called on lights out closer Brandon Koch (0.49 ERA) to shut the door. He struck out two Redbirds to do just that.

"We knew he wouldn't be able to finish the game with the pitches he threw two days ago. There's no point in saving your closer for the ninth inning when the game situation calls for him in the seventh," Heefner said.

DBU led off the eighth with a pair of walks and a single by Camden Duzenack to load the bases. Kingston turned to reliever Jeremy Rhoades to face DBU second baseman Drew Turbin.

Turbin lined a 2-2 pitch to left-center. Illinois State center fielder Sean Beesley dove for the ball, but it got past him and rolled towards the wall. All three Patriots on-base scored on Turbin's triple as Beesley knelt dejectedly in the outfield after his diving effort came up just short.

"It was indescribible when it fell in," Turbin said. "I was just trying to get it into the outfield. Once I hit it, I knew a got the job done. The rest was just awesome."

Illinois State mounted one more threat in the bottom of the ninth as it loaded the bases with no outs, but DBU reliever Paul Voelker, normally a starting pitcher, retired the heart of the Redbirds' order to clinch the victory.

For Heefner, DBU's first MVC tournament championship was extra-special. He was an assistant coach at Northern Iowa under former ISU coach Rick Heller and was also on Creighton's staff.

"This is something I've personally wanted for a long time. I know how good of a baseball league it is. It makes it even more special for me. This will elevate us and prepare us to do even better in the [NCAA] regional," Heefner said.

The NCAA Tournament pairings will be announced at noon on Monday and it will be televised on ESPNU. DBU and Indiana State are likely to be the MVC's representatives in the field.

DALLAS BAPTIST (AB-R-H-BI) -- Duzenack ss 3-1-2-0, Turbin 2b 3-0-1-3, Wesolowski 1b 4-0-0-0, Salters c 3-0-0-0, Listi cf 4-1-2-1, Wall lf 4-0-0-0, Martinelli rf 4-0-1-0, Taylor dh 0-0-0-0, Alexander dh 2-0-0-0, Sonnier pr 0-1-0-0, Talamantes dh 1-0-0-0, Knight 3b 1-1-0-0. TOTALS 29-4-6-4.

ILLINOIS STATE (AB-R-H-BI) -- Czeszewski rf 4-0-0-0, Dwyer lf 2-0-0-0, DeJong 2b 5-0-1-0, Hollenbeck c 5-0-0-0, Snyder 1b 5-0-1-0, Stewart 3b 4-1-1-1, Leverett dh 3-0-1-0, Colon ss 4-0-2-0, Beesley cf 2-0-1-0. TOTALS 34-1-7-1.

Dallas Baptist=000=000=130=--=4

Illinois State=010=000=000=--=1


E -- Shaw (1). DP -- ILS 3. LOB -- DBU 4, ILS 13. 2B -- Listi (12); DeJong (20). 3B -- Turbin (2). HR -- Listi (10); Stewart (4). S -- Duzenack (8); Beesley (6).

Dallas Baptist

=IP=H=R=ER=BB=SO


Shaw=6 1/3=5=1=1=2=8

Koch (W, 8-0)=2/3=0=0=0=1=2

Beam=1=2=0=0=2=1

Voelker=1=0=0=0=1=1

Illinois State

=IP=H=R=ER=BB=SO


Savas (L, 8-5)=7=4=4=4=5=3

Rhoades=2=2=0=0=0=1

T -- 2:50.

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