Feb. 28, 2010
By Jason Clay
JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Sophomore first baseman Chris Serritella had three doubles, two home runs and six RBIs to lead the Southern Illinois baseball team to an 18-15 victory over Jacksonville State on Sunday at Rudy Abbott Field. With the win the Salukis (2-3) take the series from the Gamecocks (2-6), two games to one.
Serritella tied the SIU single-game record with three doubles. He went 5-for-6 at the plate and scored four runs. This was the 17th time a Saluki has hit three doubles in a game and Grant Gerrard was the last to do so on March 1, 2006.
"I saw the ball well and tried to take a more aggressive approach at the plate," Serritella said. "It feels good to get our first series win and a great team win today. All our hitters did a great job."
The Salukis used a seven-run second inning and a six-run sixth to power them past a pesky Gamecock team that didn't want to be put away. Between the two schools, the three game series ends with 99 hits and 81 runs.
Southern Illinois had 19 hits on Sunday, four doubles and three home runs. Junior designated hitter Blake Pinnon hit the third homer for the Salukis, which was a monster shot to left. He went 2-for-5 with five runs driven in.
Senior left-handed pitcher Jimmy Cornell pitched well for the Dawgs on the mound to start the game. He threw 3.2 innings with six strikeouts and three runs surrendered. SIU used five pitchers on Sunday and 16 in the series. Freshman Aaron Snyder picked up his first career win, as he threw 1.2 innings of relief.
Much like they did on in the first game of the series, SIU jumped out to a large lead early in the game. The Salukis scored seven runs off of four hits and two Gamecock errors in the second.
Southern Illinois batted around in the inning, and Serritella took advantage with two doubles. His second one, to center, cleared the bases that were loaded. Johnson also doubled in the inning to bring home Roberts and Jordan Sivertsen.
Jacksonville State got one run back in the third, but SIU answered in the top of the fourth. Serritella hit his third double of the game with two outs and was brought home by Tyler Bullock's single up the middle.
The Gamecocks remained tough and were able to tie the game at eight with two more runs in the bottom of the fourth and five in the fifth.
Jacksonville State had five hits in its big fifth inning and two home runs. Sam Eberle, who went 5-for-5 with a homer on Saturday, hit a three-run bomb down the left field line and Andrew Edge had a solo shot to left center.
Serritella would not be outshined on this day, and he came back in the sixth to recapture the lead for the Salukis for good. This time he did so with a two-run homer to straight-away center field.
SIU kept rallying in the inning with two outs. Roberts started it with a single and Johnson plated him with a base hit to right field. Then with runners on first and third, Pinnon hit his first career home run, a towering shot to left.
JSU scored two in the seventh, but Southern countered with three in the eighth. Pinnon was responsible for two of the runs with a single up the middle and Brock Harding drove in the third with a single through the right side.
Serritella capped off his outstanding day with a solo shot in the ninth.