March 10, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Mark Kelly went 4-for-4 with a run scored and Adam Hills went 3-for-4 with his first career home run and two RBI to lead Southern Illinois University (10-5) to a 6-4 win over Youngstown State (0-7) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
Kelly (11 games) and Hills (6 games) kept their hitting streaks intact, as the two have merely been on fire as of late.
SIU fell behind, 1-0, in the top of the second, but answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of that inning, and never trailed again.
SIU plated three more runs in the fifth and another in the seventh.
Koski singled, Scott Elmendorf reached on a run-scoring double and Hills homered for the Dawgs' three runs in the fifth.
Two innings later, Kelly ignited a stretch of three-straight two-out hits in the seventh.
Kelly singled to left, advanced to second on Dean Cademartori's hit to left center and scored on a base knock by Choate to up SIU's lead to 6-1.
SIU, which let back-to-back ninth-inning leads slip away prior to today, held on for the win, but not before the Penguins gave the Dawgs a scare in the eighth.
Jordan Powell gave up hits to YSU's first three hitters of the eighth inning.
Moments after Eric Marzec struck out, Powell issued a walk to Brent Parks to load the bases.
Bryant George relieved Powell after that, and got pinch-hitter Mike Turjanica to hit a routine grounder to short. Finigan scooped up what appeared to be a taylor made double play ball and threw it to Elmendorf at second.
After stepping on the bag, Elmendorf proceeded to run toward the Saluki dugout as if it were the end of the inning. Instead, Gattozzi came home on the fielder's choice.
Clayton then scored on a wild pitch to narrow the gap to 6-4.
That, however, would be it for YSU, as George retired the next four hitters en route to his second save of season.
"I was happy we got the win, but disappointed with the way we finished the game," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "In order to be a good team, we can't make the mistakes we did late in the game."
Powell (3-2) picked up his third win in a row on the mound. He gave up 10 hits and four runs and struck out seven in 7.1 innings. Powell lowered his ERA in each of his last three starts.
Chuck Schiffhauer fell to 0-2 after allowing 12 hits and five runs in six innings. He also struck out four.
Offensively, Kelly and Hills teamed up for seven of SIU's 15 hits on the day. The Salukis have registered 10 or more hits in five of the last six games.
Kelly has hit safely in seven consecutive at-bats, while Hills has gotten a hit in six of his last seven. Both have had multiple-hits in three of SIU's last four games.
"Mark and Adam are really seeing the ball well right now," said Callahan.
SIU, which ended a two-game losing streak, wraps up its series with YSU at 1 p.m.,CST, Sunday. Cody Adams (4-0) will start on the mound.