Paul DeJong hit three home runs and Joe Kelch hit two more as the Illinois State baseball team rallied late for an 18-14 win over Eastern Illinois Tuesday at Coaches Stadium.
The Redbirds hit seven home runs in the contest, but needed six runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead for good. Illinois State tallied a season-high 22 hits in the win, while matching its season high with 18 runs.
Redbird starter Jeffrey Barton allowed seven runs on 12 hits and two walks over 5.1 innings. Matt Lambert gave up two runs over the next inning of work and Jake Sale allowed four runs over the next 1.2 innings. Koziol finished out the game by pitching the bottom of the ninth.
DeJong tied a school record with his three home runs Tuesday, and notched career highs in hits (4) and RBIs (6). Kelch registered five hits in the game, which was both a career high and the most collected by a Redbird batter in 2015. Dwyer, Koziol and Brian Rodemoyer added three hits apiece in the win. Kelch and Koziol drove in four runs each, career-high totals for both players.
The seven home runs were the Redbirds' most in a game since 2012.
The Redbirds return to Duffy Bass Field on Friday for the first game of a three-game series against Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville. Friday's game begins at 4:30 p.m.