Big fifth inning fuels Baseball victory over Purdue

    Junior Blake Pinnon hit his second homer of the season on Sunday

    Junior Blake Pinnon hit his second homer of the season on Sunday
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    March 7, 2010

    By Jason Clay

    Box Score

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois got the Boilermakers to strand 17 runners on base and used a six-run, fifth inning to defeat Purdue, 6-2, Sunday at Abe Martin Field.

    The rubber-match victory gives the Salukis the series win and its first back-to-back victories of the season.

    Purdue (1-6) had more than its fair share of chances in the game. The Boilermakers had the bases loaded four times, but came away with no runs on each occasion.

    SIU (4-6) enjoyed a good day on the mound, and one that was greatly needed. SIU had given up 10 or more runs in each of the last seven games, but the four pitchers used Sunday allowed just two.

    Senior left-hander Jimmy Cornell picked up his first victory of the season (1-1), throwing five innings. He gave up five hits and only allowed one earned run to go along with his four strikeouts. Senior's Ryan Bradley, Daniel Etienne and Bryant George picked up where Cornell left off and combined to throw four scoreless innings to finish off the series.

    "The object of every weekend is to win the series," head coach Dan Callahan said. "I'm glad we were able to do that after the thrashing we endured on Friday. The manner in which we came back yesterday was exciting and to get our best-pitched game of the season today was something we needed."

    Four different Salukis had two or more hits in the game, with Tyler Bullock's 3-for-3 performance leading the way. Jordan Sivertsen drove in two runs and Blake Pinnon brought home two more with his second home run of the season.



    Center fielder Chris Murphy was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Tony Lepore accounted for the sixth run. Lepore also went 2-for-4 at the plate Sunday to finish off the series where he had seven hits in 13 at-bats.

    Freshman Nick Johnson extended his hitting streak up to eight games and he has now hit safely in all nine games that he has played in to start his career.

    Purdue struck first on Sunday with two runs in the top of the third. Eric Charles plated Jonathan Moore after his double and then Cameron Perkins brought home Charles with a bloop single to right-center.

    Southern gave Cornell the lead in the bottom of the fifth, as they batted around the order to score all six of its runs.

    Murphy had a RBI double, Pinnon hit a two-run homer to left and Sivertsen brought home another two with a single to center. That was Sivertsen's only hit on the day.

    Lepore, who led off the inning and scored on Murphy's double, brought home the sixth run as he grounded out with the bases loaded to plate Sivertsen. That gave SIU the 6-2 lead as Cornell exited for Bradley in the sixth.

    Bradley carried the 6-2 lead for the Dawgs through the seventh inning and Etienne held that score going into the ninth.

    Purdue had their chances against both relievers, but ended the sixth and eighth innings with the bases loaded.

    George came in during the ninth in a no-save situation and closed out the game.

    The Salukis are now off to California for five games next week. It begins Wednesday when they play San Jose State at 7 p.m CT.