March 10, 2006
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Right-hander Matt Scott struck out six and didn't allow a walk in eight shutout innings to lead Middle Tennessee State (5-5) to a 9-0 win over Southern Illinois University (11-5) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
Scott, who went 10-1 as MTSU's ace a year ago, held SIU hitless in the second, sixth and seventh innings, while retiring 10 of 11 Salukis before leaving the game in the ninth.
"Scott challenged us all day long and they outplayed us," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan.
While Scott was mowing down the Saluki lineup, MTSU's offense entered the day looking for a breakout performance after hitting .188 (9-for-48) with runners in scoring position in its last five games.
And, with all but one Blue Raider starter getting a hit, MTSU went 6-for-16 (.375) in those situations, despite leaving 10 runners on base.
Already ahead 3-0, the top half of MTSU's lineup erupted for three-straight two-out hits in a four-run sixth.
Two and three-hole hitters Wayne Kendrick and Jeff Beachum each rallied for back-to-back RBI-singles, while Michael McKenry launched a two-run homer to left. McKenry, who also homered against the Dawgs last season, extended MTSU's lead to 7-0.
One more two-out hit, a two-RBI double by Chase Eakes, sealed the 9-0 win in the eighth.
Scott, who also scattered six hits, moved to 2-1 on the year.
Meanwhile, four junior college transfers took the mound for SIU.
Jordan Powell (3-2) suffered the loss after giving up nine hits and five runs in 5.2 innings. He also struck out two and walked three.
Kyle Catto, Cory Baker and Jordan Garner finished things out. Catto (0.1 IP) and Baker (1.2 IP) each allowed two runs and two hits, while combining for three walks, before Garner gave up a hit in the final 1.1 innings.
Freshman Scott Elmendorf went 3-for-4 to pave the way for SIU, who has been held under 10 hits in four of its last six games.
Defensively, the Salukis went errorless for the first time this season. Prior to today, SIU had committed 19 errors over a five-game span.
SIU and MTSU play again at 1 p.m., tomorrow.
Other Notes: Saluki leadoff hitter Kevin Koski has gone hitless in four of his last six games ... he is 2-for-27 (.074) in that span ... Koski opened the year by hitting safely in eight of his first nine games, with multiple-hits in seven-straight contests (Feb. 12-26) ... his only two hits since then, came against Northern Illinois (Mar. 3, Mar. 5) a week ago ... today's loss marked SIU's second-straight, as the Salukis have dropped four of their last five ... SIU has been shut out in three of its five losses this season.