March 5, 2011
By Jason Clay
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Southern Illinois used a six-run fourth inning to beat Oral Roberts, 9-2, Saturday at FedExPark in the University of Memphis Baseball Classic.
The win snaps a five-game losing streak for the Salukis and pushes their record up 3-6 on the year. Oral Roberts drops to 3-4 with the loss.
"That's a huge win," interim head coach Ken Henderson said. "To get back on the winning side is very good and that's a great win against a very, very good program, so that is huge for our kids at this point."
SIU right-hander Cameron Maldonado lasted five innings and struck out seven to pick up his first win as a Saluki (1-2). He gave up five hits, just one run and only walked one of the 21 batters he faced. Maldonado's seven strikeouts are the most by a Saluki this year.
With Brad Drust's two strikeouts and Tyler Dray's five in three innings, Southern Illinois got Oral Roberts to strike out 14 times in the game. That is the most strikeouts in a game since SIU fanned Chicago State 19 times on March 12, 2005.
Dray recorded his first career save in the game.
Golden Eagle Starter Alex Gonzalez was roughed up by the Salukis. He came into the game with a 0.64 ERA and allowed just one earned run in 14 innings, but SIU got six runs and eight hits off of him. Gonzalez was credited with his first loss of the season (1-1).
The Salukis finished with 12 hits in the game to ORU's six. SIU also did not commit an error for the first time this season.
Kollin Dowdy, Donny Duschinsky, Chris Murphy, Jordan Sivertsen and Jake Welch all had two hits in the game. Sivertsen was 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Murphy was 2-for-4 with one run scored and two driven in. Blake Pinnon also drove in two runs with his single in the fourth.
Oral Roberts did get on the board in the third with an RBI single from Chris Elder.
Southern Illinois scored six runs off of seven hits in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-1 lead. It was SIU's biggest inning of the year.
Nick Johnson started it with a RBI single and then Sivertsen brought home two with his single up the middle. After Southern loaded the bases with two outs, Pinnon brought home two and then Murphy plated one as the two both singled to center.
The Golden Eagles loaded the bases up in the seventh with no outs. Dray came in to pitch and got the Salukis out of the inning without any real damage, giving up just one run on a sacrifice fly. Dray struck out two batters to end the threat.
SIU tacked on three more runs in the eighth and Dray didn't allow any hits in the ninth to close out the game.