March 3, 2009
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Righthander Andrew Dunn gave up only two runs and did not allow a walk in 7.2 strong innings to lead Southern Illinois University (3-6) to a 5-4 win over Tennessee-Martin (3-3) earlier today in the Salukis' home-opener at Abe Martin Field.
Dunn, now 1-2 on the year, earned his first win in nine appearances dating back to when he last beat Arkansas State on April 2, 2008.
"Andrew did a great job. He did what he does best, and that's throw a ton of strikes and get groundballs," said Saluki associate head coach Ken Henderson.
Dunn recorded eight groundball outs and threw 96 pitches on the day, 74 of which were strikes. He also sat the Skyhawks down in order in each of the first, fourth, sixth and seventh innings and tossed five-straight scoreless innings after UTM scored in the second.
SIU struggled early against UTM righthander Coty Green, who retired 14 of the first 15 hitters he faced over five innings of one-hit, shutout baseball.
The Salukis, however, got to Green in the sixth, where Chris Serritella led off with a single and went to second on a Tyler Bullock walk. Chase Sanford moved the runners on a sacrifice-bunt and Chris Murphy followed with a single to score Serritella. Scott Elmendorf's sacrifice fly then gave SIU a 2-1 lead.
After SIU scored its 11th unearned run of the year in the seventh, Aaron Roberts' sacrifice fly and Tony Lepore's two-out RBI-single pushed the Saluki lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth.
Shortly after Milligan's hit, George forced Kevin Holt to ground into a 1-5-3 double play. On the next play, Cody Terry singled home Milligan to cut the lead to 5-4. George then got Scott Gladstone out on a fly ball to right to end the game.
"Today wasn't our best effort of the year, but we battled and found a way to win," said Henderson.
George picked up his first save of the season. The save also marked the 16th of his career, as George needs only four to break SIU's all-time record, currently held by Al Levine (19 career saves, 1990-91).
Green fell to 1-2 on the year after allowing six hits and five runs. He also struck out three, walked three and threw a total of 102 pitches.
Mark Kelly, Lepore and Serritella combined for six of SIU's seven hits. Each went 2-for-4 on the day.
Terry led the Skyhawks, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI.
The Salukis, who won their fifth-straight home-opener, improved to 12-3 in such games under head coach Dan Callahan.
SIU returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Eastern Illinois at 2 p.m., CT. Righthander David Kington (0-1) will start on the mound.