BOCA RATON, Fla.
- Left-hander Chris Salberg allowed two hits and struck out four in six shutout innings to lead No. 20 Florida Atlantic (2-3) to a commanding 12-0 win over Southern Illinois (1-1) earlier today at FAU Stadium.
Salberg was shaky in the first two innings, but settled down to retire 12 of 14 SIU hitters en route to his first win of the season.
After a thrilling come-from-behind win Friday, SIU couldn't get anything going, as its offense sputtered to three hits, its defense committed six errors and its pitching fell to pieces.
"Today was one of the most embarassing games I've coached," said a disappointed Saluki head coach Dan Callahan.
SIU had runners in scoring position three times, but came up empty on each of those occasions.
Aided by two FAU errors and a walk, the Salukis loaded the bases with one out in the first, but hit into an inning-ending double play.
An inning later, three Salukis hit into a fielder's choice, and SIU later ended up stranding runners on the corners.
The Dawgs also had runners at first and second with one out in the sixth, but couldn't push a run across then either.
That was it for the Saluki offense.
Meanwhile, FAU was having a field day, as either a walk, error, wild pitch or passed ball by SIU's pitching and defense helped the Owls score two runs in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings.
Ahead 8-0, FAU added four more runs in the ninth, with the help of more pitching and fielding mishaps by the Dawgs.
On Friday, SIU overcame a six-run deficit against an Owl bullpen which merely self-destructed in the last three innings.
Today, it was a different story for the FAU pen.
Owl relievers Will Mann, Mike Salivar, Chris Eberhart and Kenny Gray joined forces to one-hit SIU over the final three innings, and preserve the shutout for Salberg.
Salberg moved to 1-0 on the young season after his dazzling performance.
Overall, there were 12 walks, six wild pitches, a balk and a hit batsman by Saluki pitchers today.
After the game, Saluki pitching coach Bryan Wolff addressed the breakdown.
"We had guys getting their feet wet for the first time and I thought jitters took over," said Wolff. "Jordan Powell competed, using just his fastball. I believe the next time out for these guys will be much better, because today couldn't be any worse."
As if that wasn't enough for the Salukis, junior outfielder Kevin Koski saw his school record 36-game hitting streak come to an end after going 0-for-3 with a walk. The last time Koski went hitless in a game was against Northern Iowa on Mar. 27, 2005. Koski's streak lasted from Mar. 29, 2005 to Feb. 11, 2006.
SIU concludes its three-game series against FAU tomorrow at noon, CST.