Feb. 12, 2006
By Jeff Honza
BOCA RATON, Fla- Kevin Koski went 5-for-6 with a stolen base, three runs scored and two RBI, as Southern Illinois (2-1) exploded for 22 hits and three home runs en route to a 17-8 series-clinching win over No. 20 Florida Atlantic (2-4) earlier today..
Koski's school record 36-game hitting streak ended Saturday, but he started a new one in impressive fashion today. A native of Schaumburg, Ill., his five hits fell one shy of tying the school's single-game record, currently held by Jim Limperis who had six hits against West Chester on Mar. 14, 1987.
SIU fell behind 3-0 in the first, but erupted behind Koski, whose aggressiveness at the plate was contagious.
Dean Cademartori walked and Erik Alvarez and Bret Maugeri each singled with one-out in the second. Shortly after Maugeri's hit scored Cademartori, Alvarez touched home when Tyler Lairson grounded out to third. Consecutive two-out hits by Koski, Nathan Emrick and Grant Gerrard led to the other three runs, as SIU took a 5-3 lead.
SIU batted around again in the third, where Hunter Harrigan and Dean Cademartori led things off with back-to-back singles. Harrigan scored on a wild pitch, while Erik Alvarez reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a passed ball. Maugeri kept things going with a walk, moved to second on a one-out sacrifice bunt by Lairson and scored on Koski's third hit of the game. A couple more two-out hits, including an RBI-single by Emrick and RBI-double by Gerrard extended the Dawgs' lead to 10-3.
But, SIU answered with a lot more damage in the fourth, as two-run homers by Emrick and Maugeri pushed the Dawgs' lead to 14-5. For Emrick and Maugeri, the long balls marked their first of the season.
After Cademartori's RBI-single gave SIU a 15-5 lead in the seventh, FAU's William Block and Nick Arata each homered in the eighth to narrow the gap to, 15-8.
One final SIU blow came in the ninth when Harrigan delivered a monster two-run blast over the wall in left center to put the 17-8 win on ice.
SIU's 22 hits marked the most in a game since the Salukis pounded out 25 at Murray State on March 18, 2004.
Along with Koski, Emrick (4-for-5, HR, 3 runs, 3 RBI), Gerrard (3-for-5, one run, two RBI), Harrigan (2-for-6, HR, two runs, two RBI) and Maugeri (2-for-4, HR, three runs, three RBI) also had multiple-hits and multiple-RBIs on the day.
On the mound, left-hander Adam Snyder (1-0) was credited with the win after striking out four in four relief innings. Snyder also picked off a runner at first.
Snyder relieved freshman Cody Adams who did a nice job in his first collegiate start. Adams struck out three in three innings.
Joel Schmal (1-1) suffered the loss for FAU. He was rattled for nine hits and nine runs in 2.2 innings.
SIU returns to action next week when it heads to the Sam Houston State Tournament to face Dallas Baptist (Feb. 17), Sam Houston (Feb. 18) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Feb. 19).