March 5, 2006
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University (10-3) fell apart defensively in an 8-6 loss to Northern Illinois (4-5) earlier today. The Salukis committed six errors, which led to seven unearned runs for the Huskies, who won the three-game series.
SIU committed a total of 14 errors in its series against NIU, including 11 in the last two games.
After five errors outweighed its quiet four hits Saturday, SIU struggled to six in a dismal performance at a cold, rainy Abe Martin Field today.
NIU starter Trevor Feeney retired 10 of his first 11 SIU hitters en route to no-hitting the Dawgs through his first three innings of the game.
Feeney also recorded four strikeouts and scattered just three hits before earning his first win of the season.
With Feeney setting the tone on the mound, NIU's offense went to work in the third.
Nine-hole hitter Pat Minogue led off with a single and advanced to second on Bobby Stevens' grounder to first. Marc Besteman reached on an error on the next play, before back-to-back walks by Saluki starter Kyle Catto allowed Minogue to score easily.
A one-out RBI-single by Jesse Seykora followed to score Besteman, while Scott Simon touched home on an ensuing sacrifice fly by Jeff Thomas.
After adding one run in the fifth, NIU built a six-run cushion with three unearned tallies in the sixth.
Three Saluki errors, including two by Catto, and a RBI-single by Simon extended the Huskies lead to 7-1. Catto overthrew first base on both of his mishaps.
SIU answered with three runs of its own after loading the bases in the bottom half of the sixth.
Kevin Koski drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a single by Scott Elmendorf and scored on a hit by Grant Gerrard. Shortly after a passed ball plated Elmendorf, Erik Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to knock in Gerrard.
With the help of yet another Saluki error, NIU took a 8-4 lead in the eighth.
However, the Huskies ran into their own defensive troubles in the ninth.
Elmendorf went 2-for-5 with two runs scored to lead the Salukis at the plate.
Minogue paved the way at the bottom of the NIU lineup with three hits and three runs scored.
Catto (0-1) scattered seven hits in five innings of work. Only one of his seven runs were earned, as he also struck out four and walked three. The John A. Logan College transfer also had three errors.
SIU breaks for a day before hosting South Dakota State on Mar. 7-8. The Dawgs and Jackrabbits start their two-game series at 2 p.m., CST, Tuesday.