March 1, 2009
By Jeff Honza
DELAND, Fla. - Southern Illinois University (2-6) scored five unearned runs and had nine two-out hits in an 8-3 win over Iowa (1-5) earlier today at the Bright House Invitational.
The Salukis snapped a six-game losing streak in a game which started an hour and five minutes later due to rain and was shortened to eight innings because of travel restrictions.
"I was pleased with how aggressive we were at the plate," said Saluki associate head coach Ken Henderson. "We got an early lead and never let up."
All nine starters got a hit, as SIU registered 14 on the day. The 14 hits were the Salukis' second-most in a game this season.
The floodgates opened in the bottom of the first when Kevin Hoef's two-out error led to three unearned runs. Mark Kelly reached on the mishap and four-straight singles followed. Michael Stalter touched home on a passed ball, while Wade Dutton and Jordan Sivertsen each knocked in a run to give the Salukis a quick 3-0 lead.
After Kelly's two-out double scored Aaron Roberts to push SIU's lead to 4-0 in the second, Iowa managed to pull to within a run.
Zach McCool walked and came around to score with the help of a two-out single by Justin Toole in the third. An inning later, Ryan Durant touched home on a sacrifice fly and Kody McManis scored on a two-out double by McCool, slicing the Saluki lead to 4-3.
The Hawkeyes threatened again in the fifth, but were held at bay when Sivertsen made the play of the day. With two outs and runners on first and second, T.J. Cataldo lifted a high fly ball into a steady wind blowing out to left. Sivertsen jumped and made an outstanding catch to rob Cataldo of a home run.
Another costly Hawkeye error led to two more unearned runs for SIU in the fifth, before back-to-back doubles by Kelly and Stalter, a sacrifice fly by Sivertsen and a RBI-single by Dutton polished off the 8-3 win in the sixth.
Righthander Daniel Etienne (1-0) picked up his first career win in relief, working 2.1 innings of two-hit shutout baseball.
Nick Erdman (0-1) suffered the loss for Iowa after giving up four runs (three unearned) on seven hits in two innings of work.
Offensively, five Salukis posted two hits, including Roberts (2-for-5, 1 run, 1 RBI), Stalter (2-for-5, 2 runs, 2B), Kelly (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 2B, 1 RBI), Dutton (2-for-4, 2 runs, 2 RBI) and Chris Murphy (2-for-4, 1 RBI).
Durant went 3-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Hawkeyes.
SIU returns to Carbondale for a 10-game homestand, beginning Tuesday. The Dawgs host Tennessee-Martin in their home-opener at 2 p.m., CT.
All games will be broadcast live on WFRX 1300 AM (day games) and WVZA 92.7 FM (night games), and on-line at siusalukis.com via Saluki All-Access starting March 3.