Jake Welch scored SIU's only run after a third-inning double.
Feb. 17, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB held onto an early lead to hand Southern Illinois a 3-1 defeat Sunday afternoon at Young Memorial Field. It was the second straight loss for the Salukis (1-2) to conclude the season’s opening series against the Blazers (2-1).
SIU trailed 3-1 after four innings and got the tying run to the plate three times but could not string together the hits needed to even the score.
“We didn’t hit, and that’s the story of the weekend,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said, “but I know we will hit. We just have to stay at it, start believing a little bit and get some confidence.”
All of the scoring came in the third and fourth innings as the two teams combined for four hits in the final five innings.
After SIU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning, UAB quickly responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. Chase Davis led off the inning with an infield single and scored on Ryan Prinzing’s double to right field. Two consecutive groundouts to shortstop moved Prinzing over and in to give UAB a 2-1 lead after three innings.
Jeff Schalk gave the Blazers an insurance run when he led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to left field, extending the lead to 3-1.
Derek Fogel took the loss. He lasted five innings in his first start with the Salukis, allowing three runs off five hits. The junior struck out a pair and did not issue any walks.
“He kept us in the game,” Henderson said. “He did a good enough job. He mixed speeds well, and gave us a chance to win. I thought he did a good job.”
Southern’s best chance to reclaim the lead came in the sixth inning when Matt Jones hit a two-out double to left field. Ryan Casillas was then hit by a pitch to put two runners on for Donny Duschinsky. Making his first start of the season, Duschinsky hit a liner to center field that hung up just long enough for Chase Davis to make a run-saving catch.
After managing four base hits and no walks in Saturday’s game, the SIU offense showed signs of improvement Sunday even though it didn’t translate to a big run total.
“I thought we had some better ABs,” Henderson said. “Getting Duschinsky back in the lineup was certainly a plus. He had three really good ABs and was six inches away from having two RBIs and a couple more hits.”
The SIU bullpen was impressive once again, tossing three scoreless, hitless innings. Brad Drust threw a perfect sixth inning, his first appearance since sitting out 2012 with Tommy John surgery. Freshman Jacob Williams shut down the Blazers in the seventh and the eighth innings in his first collegiate appearance. In 10 innings this season, Saluki relievers have allowed just one run, which was unearned.