March 15, 2008
By Jeff Honza
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - Southern Illinois University (8-7) split a pair of games at the Irish Classic earlier today at Nelson Wolff Stadium. The Salukis lost to Notre Dame (7-6), 4-0, before rallying to beat Buffalo (4-11), 9-8.
SIU wrapped up its spring break trip with a 3-2 record on the week. The Salukis will return to Carbondale for a four-game homestand, beginning against Murray State Tuesday.
Southern Illinois 9, Buffalo 8
Tyler Lairson knocked in the game-winning run on a two-out RBI-single in the top of the ninth.
Tyler Choate drew a one-out walk and stole second. Choate advanced to third on the same play when a throw got away from catcher Rob Mancini. Adam Hills struck out on the next play before Lairson stepped in and belted a single to right center.
Buffalo, which trailed by as many as four, made things interesting when it tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Two passed balls, three hits and a walk helped ignite the Bulls' late rally.
Jacob Rosenback smacked a leadoff double down the left field line and went to second on a passed ball. Chris Ciesla followed with a single and Rosenback scored. A Tony Fuller walk and another passed ball moved the runners before Rick Oliveri loaded the bases with a two-out walk. Kevin McCall then singled home Ciesla and Fuller to tie the game at 8-8.
Buffalo managed to get two runners on with one out in the ninth, but Ciesla and Charlie Karstedt each hit into a fielder's choice to end the game.
Bryant George (1-0) was credited with his first win of the season after tossing 1.1 scoreless innings.
Mike Stangroom (1-2) took the loss for Buffalo. Stangroom gave up three hits and three runs, struck out five and walked three in five innings.
Brian Randazzo and Ciesla each had three hits to pave the way for the Bulls. Buffalo collected 14 hits on the day. The Bulls also had four errors and left 16 runners on base.
Notre Dame 4, Southern Illinois 0
Senior left-hander Wade Korpi allowed only three hits in six scoreless innings, as Notre Dame shutout Southern Illinois, 4-0.
Korpi set the tone early, limiting the Salukis to just one hit through five innings. Bret Maugeri's leadoff single to left in the second inning was the only ball to leave the infield against Korpi in that span.
The Irish gave Korpi a three-run lead to work with when their leadoff man reached and scored in each of the first three innings.
Brett Lilley singled to right center and scored on a two-out single by Jeremy Barnes in the first. Billy Boockford reached courtesy of a Saluki error to begin the second. Boockford, who moved into scoring position on an ensuing bunt single by Sean Gaston, touched home with the help of another error. A.J. Pollock started the third with a bunt single and later scored on a sacrifice fly to give ND a 3-0 cushion.
SIU threatened when it loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but came away empty against Irish reliever Tony Langford. Langford got Owen Mackedon out on a 1-3 sacrifice bunt, hit Lairson with a pitch, forced Tyler Bullock to pop up to short and struck out Scott Elmendorf to shut down the Salukis.
Barnes polished off the win when he slugged Shawn Joy's 3-2 pitch over the left field wall with two outs in the seventh.
Korpi improved to 2-1 on the year, while Joy (1-2) took the fall for SIU. Joy gave up eight hits and four runs in seven innings, the longest outing by a Saluki starting pitcher this season. He also struck out three and walked none.
ND, the first team to blank the Dawgs this year, had 10 hits on the day. Barnes led the charge, going 3-for-4 with a run scored, homer and two RBI.
Maugeri went 2-for-4 to lead SIU, which posted a season-low four hits. Chris Crank and Finigan followed with one apiece.
SIU remained winless against the Irish in San Antonio, falling to 0-6 all-time.