Feb. 27, 2009
By Jeff Honza
DELAND, Fla. - Jake Overstreet scored the winning run on an error with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, giving South Alabama (3-4) a 3-2 victory over Southern Illinois University (1-5) earlier today at the Bright House Invitational.
Overstreet was on second base with one away when Nathanial Lami hit into what would have been an inning-ending double play. Instead, Scott Elmendorf, after getting Sean Laird out on the force at second, buried his throw and the ball skipped by first baseman Wade Dutton, allowing Overstreet to score.
"It's disappointing to lose like that," said Saluki associate head coach Ken Henderson. "We had our chances and pitched well enough to win the game."
Starting righthanders Adam Curynski and Matt Jackson were magnificent on the mound, but neither came away with a decision.
Curynski gave up only two runs, walked one and struck out three in 7.2 innings, while Jackson recorded eight strikeouts, walked one and allowed just five hits in 8.1 innings of work.
The Jaguar offense staked Jackson to a 2-0 lead via Brad Hook's two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. Hook, hitting out of the eight-hole, fell behind 0-2 in the count before going deep following an eight-pitch at-bat.
Jackson limited the Salukis to only one hit through 5.2 scoreless innings, before the USA defense broke down behind him in the sixth.
Elmendorf reached on a two-out error and scored on an ensuing triple by Michael Stalter. Stalter then came around to score the tying run on Mark Kelly's base hit to left. Kelly went hitless in seven-straight at-bats prior to his single.
The Salukis had a runner on second with no outs in the seventh when Dutton lined into a 9-6 double play and Tyler Bullock struck out looking.
Righthander Brandon Brown (1-0) was credited with the win after recording both outs in the ninth.
Righthander David Kington (0-1) suffered the loss in his first appearance of the season. Kington worked one inning, giving up a hit and one run (unearned). He recorded one strikeout and issued a walk, as well.
Offensively, SIU had a season-low five hits, with Stalter, Kelly, Murphy, Sivertsen and Roberts chipping in one apiece. Saluki hitters also struck out nine times, matching a season-high.
Overstreet went 2-for-4 to lead the Jaguars, who saw eight of their nine starters get a hit.
The Salukis return to action against tournament host Stetson University Saturday. First pitch is set for 7 p.m., ET. Junior righthander Nathan Forer (0-1) is scheduled to start on the mound.