Feb. 23, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University (4-3) scored two runs on three-straight two-out hits in the sixth inning en route to a 3-1 win over Central Michigan (2-2) earlier today in the Salukis' home-opener at Abe Martin Field.
SIU, which improved to 10-3 in home-openers under head coach Dan Callahan, broke a 1-1 deadlock with its timely hitting in the sixth.
Scott Elmendorf led off the inning with a single and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two away following a Adam Hills strikeout, Mark Kelly, Tyler Choate and Bret Maugeri rallied the Dawgs with consecutive hits.
Kelly knocked in Elmendorf on a single to right center, while Maugeri scored Kelly on a hit to left to give SIU a 3-1 lead.
SIU fell behind 1-0 in the first and tied the game when Aaron Roberts scored in the third. The Salukis' two runs in the sixth would then hold up in the end thanks to a dominating effort from reliever Kyle Catto.
Catto entered the game in the seventh and struck out five of the first six hitters he faced before earning his first career save.
"Kyle came in and pitched really well," said Callahan. "He had excellent movement on his pitches and good command of the strikezone."
Prior to that, Jordan Powell (1-2) gave up three hits and one run, and struck out six in six strong innings to pick up his first win since May 5, 2006.
"I was able to locate my fastball and that's what made the difference for me today," said Powell. "I felt a lot more comfortable out there."
Defensively, SIU went without an error for the second time this season.
The Dawgs have now posted three come-from-behind wins in a row, with each being decided by no more than two runs.
SIU also won its fifth-straight game against CMU.
SIU and CMU resume play tomorrow at 1 p.m., CST. Sophomore right-hander Cody Adams (2-0) will start on the mound for the Dawgs.