Chris Serritella hit his fifth homer of the season Thursday
March 11, 2010
By Jason Clay
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - After a debacle just getting to the game, the Southern Illinois baseball team settled in and used a five-run eighth inning to defeat Santa Clara, 6-5, Thursday at Stephen Schott Stadium in the opening game of the Jack Gifford Memorial Tournament.
Southern Illinois (5-7) had its bus break down on them on the way to the ballpark and had to take taxi's to get to the game.
Senior left-handed pitcher Ryan Bradley pitched a strong five innings as the game was tied at one when he exited. Santa Clara (5-6) designated hitter Pat Stover hit a solo home run in the sixth to put SCU up 2-1, setting the stage for Saluki first baseman Chris Serritella to power the Salukis to the victory.
With two on and two outs in the eighth, Serritella hit a 1-2 pitch over the tall scoreboard in center field. The three-run bomb was his only hit on the night and his fifth home run in 12 games this season. Left fielder Jordan Sivertsen added an RBI double in the inning and he later scored on a dropped fly ball by SCU shortstop Justin Viele to give SIU a 6-2 lead.
Senior closer Bryant George entered on the mound in the seventh and did give up three runs over the course of the eighth and ninth innings, but ended the Broncos comeback attempt at the end to earn his third victory of the season.
"This was a good game played by everybody," Serritella said after the victory. "(Ryan) Bradley threw a great five innings for us and hopefully we can learn from this and move forward."
Santa Clara starter Nate Garcia was credited with the loss after lasting seven and two-thirds of an inning. He gave up eight hits, five runs and struck out nine batters.
Bradley only gave up five hits and one run, which is the least allowed by a Saluki starter this year.
With a strong threat of rain in Friday's forecast, SIU's game versus UC Davis has been moved up to 3 p.m. CT at Stephen Schott stadium.