Salukis power their way past Austin Peay, 14-4

    Cody Daily had three hits and scored four runs Tuesday.

    Cody Daily had three hits and scored four runs Tuesday.
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    Feb. 18, 2014

    By Scott Gierman 

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    CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Southern Illinois’ bullpen outshined Austin Peay’s relievers as the Salukis rolled to a 14-4 nonconference road win over the Governors Tuesday evening at Raymond C. Hand Park. SIU used five relievers, and none of them allowed a hit after the fourth inning. Meanwhile, the Salukis, who hit four home runs in the game, struck for 10 runs against Austin Peay’s six relief pitchers.

    “I thought it was a huge game,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “It’s hard to say that about the fourth game of the year, but we needed to play well and we needed to get a W. Obviously we did it in great fashion.”

    Southern overcame a pair of early deficits in the game and took the lead for good in the fifth when Donny Duschinsky’s three-run blast over the left field wall gave SIU a 5-4 lead. It was his second home run of the season.

    The Salukis added some breathing room with a three-run seventh inning. Cody Daily started the inning with a solo home run to extend the lead to 6-4. Southern then loaded the bases with an error, a hit batsman and an infield single. Ryan Rosthenhaulser singled through the right side of the infield, and Ryan Casillas scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to four.

    The Salukis put the game out of reach in the eighth when Ryan Casillas capped a four-run inning with a three-run homer to give SIU a 12-4 lead. Casillas entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.

    “We had a lot of two-strike RBIs and extended innings,” Henderson said. “I’m probably most proud of that. Our offense grinded out ABs to make something happen. If somebody didn’t execute, the next guy picked him up.”

    Reliever Matt Murphy took home the win for SIU. He entered a 2-2 game with the bases loaded and nobody out in the third inning and quickly induced two foul pop ups before allowing a two-run double to Tommy Hager. Murphy stayed in to throw a scoreless fourth inning.

    “At that point in the game, my job was to come in and throw strikes and keep it to minimal damage,” Murphy said. “I got the first strike over and got into a rhythm.”

    Southern then called on Lee Weld, Kyle Pauly, Derek Fogel and Jacob Williams out of the pen, and they combined for five hitless innings. Saluki pitchers struck out 16 batters, the most since the Dawgs had 19 punchouts against Chicago State in 2005. SIU struck out eight of the last 10 Austin Peay batters of the game. The bullpen has now allowed just one earned run in 20 innings of work this season.

    “The bullpen did a great job today,” Henderson said. “That was crucial. We were down when they entered the game, and they threw up six straight zeroes and gave our offense a chance to get going.”

    Saluki starter Connor McFadden lasted two-plus innings in his first college start. The redshirt freshman allowed a single run in each of the first two innings and left the game after walking three batters to start the third inning.

    “He really hadn’t thrown in a game in two years, but he’ll be fine,” Henderson said. “If he stays in the zone, he’s going not to get hit hard. He just needs to get some innings under his belt.”

    The two teams traded single runs in the early innings. Parker Osborne hit a solo home run in the top of the first inning, and Austin Peay’s Alex Robles evened the game at 1-1 with his own solo homer.

    In the second inning, Logan Gray gave the Governors a 2-1 lead by beating out a potential double play ball to score a run from third. The Salukis knotted it at 2-2 when Jake Welch led off the third with a walk and scored on Daily’s two-out RBI single.