Feb. 21, 2012
By Scott Gierman
MARTIN, Tenn. - A seven-run third inning did in the Salukis as the Southern Illinois baseball team lost 9-4 to UT Martin Tuesday afternoon at Skyhawk Field. The loss snapped SIU's two-game winning streak and evened its record at 2-2 on the season.
The Skyhawks (1-3) blasted a pair of homers in the third inning to take a 7-0 lead. Jordan Owen's three-run homer to left field started the onslaught. A couple batters late, Matt Haynes extended the lead to 4-0 with a double to left-center field. The next batter, Wade Collins capped the seven-run inning with a three-run homer of his own.
SIU starter Bryan Waldrop surrendered all seven of those runs and departed after the third inning. He took the loss. He had allowed the first two batters to reach base in each of the first two innings, but both times he managed to escape without any damage thanks to a pair of double plays.
UTM's Willie Frederick allowed just two runs and struck out four batters in six innings of work to pick up the victory. He retired the first 10 batters he faced.
SIU started to claw back into the game in the middle innings. Jordan Sivertsen delivered an RBI double down the left field line in the fourth to cut the deficit to 7-1. In the next inning, Nick Johnson scored on Tanner Renner's ground out to cut it to 7-2.
UT Martin extended the lead back to seven runs in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs and runners at second and third base. The Salukis opted for the intentional walk to Collins, but Matt Murphy's first offering sailed high and off the glove of Brian Bajer. Two runs scored on the play, making it a 9-2 game.
The bullpen pitched well for SIU. Sam Coonrod tossed two scoreless frames, and tossed a perfect eighth inning. The only damage against Murphy in his two innings of work came on the wild pitch.
SIU will travel to Western Kentucky to open a three-game series with Game 1 scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.