Feb. 22, 2008
By Jeff Honza
CORDOVA, Tenn. - Western Michigan University (1-0) scored a total of 11 runs on 12 hits in the last four innings of the game to overcome a three-run deficit and beat Southern Illinois (0-1), 11-5, earlier today at a frigid First Tennessee Fields.
WMU snapped a six-game losing streak, dropping SIU to 3-11 all-time in season-openers under head coach Dan Callahan.
Right-hander Cody Adams dominated early, tossing five scoreless, no-hit innings, but made some key mistakes which led to the start of the Broncos comeback in the sixth.
Adams, pitching with a 3-0 lead, plunked Kevan Hess to start the sixth. He then threw a wild pitch before an error gave WMU runners on the corners with no outs. A second wild pitch by Adams followed and Hess scored. Three hitters later, Chris Lewis wrecked Adams' no-hit bid with a two-out RBI-single that cut SIU's lead to 3-2.
After that, it was all downhill for the Dawgs.
Andrew Dunn relieved Adams in the seventh and struggled from the start. Dunn, who faced only five hitters, hit Max Kelmigian and gave up a pair of RBI-doubles, as WMU took its first lead, 4-3.
WMU continued to pick apart SIU's shaky bullpen, tacking on three more runs in the eighth. Joe Sheets, Matt Abro and Neal Miller each had RBI-singles to extend the Broncos lead to 7-3.
SIU countered with two runs of its own in the eighth, but couldn't withstand another Bronco ambush in the ninth.
Two-through-five hitters Sheets, Lewis, Abro and Pedro Dager all scored to put the game out of reach. Sheets, Lewis and Abro each singled with one out, while Dager reached on a fielder's choice and touched home with the help of an error to polish off the 11-5 win.
SIU took a 3-0 lead with the help of four-straight one-out hits in the fourth.
Dunn (0-1) suffered the loss for SIU.
Adams gave up one hit, allowed two runs and struck out five in six innings of work.
SIU and WMU conclude their series with a noon doubleheader Saturday.