Local Sports

Owen Miller's Cycle Leads Redbirds in Series Win Over Crusaders

Owen Miller hit for the cycle, and the Redbirds got a stellar pitching performance for the program's first shutout since the MVC Tournament a season ago, topping Valparaiso 8-0 to take the series over the Crusaders.
Miller opened the game with a single in the first inning, before hitting a home run with one out in the second inning. Another single in the fourth led the way to a triple off the wall in center field to lead off the sixth inning. Leading off the eighth inning, Miller doubled to the wall in right field to complete the cycle. In all, the junior shortstop went 5-for-5 at the plate.
Starting pitcher Matt Walker went six innings, scattering two hits, walking one while striking out four batters. Dalton Harvey and Braden Niksich each struck out one batter in an inning of work, while Jeff Lindgren struck out two in the ninth inning to secure the shutout win.
John Rave and Jake McCaw each went 2-for-4 as the Redbirds pounded out 13 hits in the game. Miller scored three times while Rave had a pair of runs. McCaw drove in a team-high four runs, as Rave chased home a pair.
The Redbirds started strong offensively, as Rave, Tyson Hays, and Miller each singled to load the bases through three batters in the game. After a fly-out, McCaw doubled home the trio to provide the eventual game-winning RBI's. After a groundout, Noah Sadler singled home McCaw to put ISU ahead 4-0.
An inning later, Derek Parola opened with a single, and trotted home following Rave's team-leading seventh home run of the season, putting the Redbirds ahead 6-0. Two batters later Miller cleared the wall in left field with his fifth home run of the season, and ISU held a 7-0 lead after two full innings.
The following three innings were played without a run scored, before Miller opened the sixth inning with a triple off the center field wall, and scored on a McCaw sacrifice fly, as the freshman drove in the first and last runs of the game.
The shutout was the first by the Redbirds since May 24, 2017, against Missouri State in the MVC Tournament last season.
The Redbirds return to action on Thursday, May 17, when the team faces off against the Evansville Aces in a three-game regular season-ending series.

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