March 4, 2012
By Scott Gierman
DELAND, Fla. – Southern Illinois finished a perfect 3-0 weekend with an 11-4 win over Penn in the Salukis’ third and final game of the Bright House Invitational Sunday afternoon at Melching Field at Conrad Park.
The Salukis rallied for three runs in the fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie, and that was more than enough for SIU starter Nathan Dorris and the bullpen who combined to allow just three hits in the final five innings of the game.
“That’s a tough game for us because of the turnaround,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “We got in at 11 o’clock last night. We got back to the hotel late and had to turn it around and do it again this morning. It took us a while to get going, but once we got on a roll in the third or fourth inning, we played pretty well from then on.”
Dorris earned his third win in his third start with the Salukis. The lefty allowed four runs, only two of them earned, in six innings and struck out a season high seven batters.
Aaron Snyder, Pete Slavonic and Austin Johnson each threw a scoreless inning out of the bullpen. Over the last two games, the SIU bullpen has combined to throw eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits.
SIU piled on four more runs in the seventh inning to extend the lead to 11-4. Donny Duschinsky started the rally with a double to score Jake Welch. Chris Serritella then singled home Duschinsky. Two batters later, Austin Montgomery finished the rally with a two-run double.
“Nick’s a strong guy,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “When he’s aggressive and when he gets balls out front, he can hit balls hard. He was aggressive again this weekend and he got his hacks in, and when he does that, good things happen.”
Serritella went 3-for-5 with four RBI and also homered in the game.
Early on SIU maintained the momentum from last night’s win over No. 19 Stetson by plating three runs on four hits in the first inning. Jake Welch led off the game with a double to start the rally. Serritella recorded the 100th RBI of his SIU career in the inning with a single to score Welch.
Penn tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning when the Quakers took advantage of miscues by the SIU defense and scored two runs. A wild pitch, two errors and a failed double play opened the door for Quaker right fielder Rick Brebner’s RBI single.
The Salukis next game will be the home opener at Abe Martin Field on Tuesday against Middle Tennessee State at 2 p.m.