March 17, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Six-through-nine hitters Tyler Choate, Tyler Lairson, Bret Maugeri and Michael Finigan teamed up for 10 hits and 10 runs, as Southern Illinois University (14-6) coasted to a 13-3 win over Western Michigan (4-9) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
That part of the order erupted, going a combined 10-for-15 with three doubles and six RBI.
"Our six-through-nine hitters did an outstanding job today," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "They had some great at-bats and it was fun watching them produce."
The Salukis scored a season-high 13 runs and registered their largest margin of victory (+10) in 20 games this year.
Cody Adams (6-0) became the first SIU pitcher to go undefeated in six starts since Cliff McIntosh accomplished the feat in 1988. Adams struggled at times, but received plenty of run support in the process.
Adams battled and managed to get through six innings, where he allowed three earned runs, gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked five.
"I was proud of the way Cody kept fighting," said Callahan. "He didn't have his best stuff today, but still got the win."
Offensively, the Salukis tore up four Bronco pitchers -- none of which lasted more than 2.2 innings -- for 14 hits and eight earned runs. SIU also drew eight walks against a self-destructing WMU staff.
SIU led 3-2 before exploding for eight runs in the middle innings.
The Salukis scored a pair of runs with the help of a Bronco error, a bunt single by Finigan and a passed ball in the fourth.
Choate, Lairson and Maugeri each hit safely and scored in the fifth, while a couple walks and two hits fueled the three-run sixth.
Choate then hit a one-out single and quickly scored on an ensuing double by Lairson in the eighth. Lairson went to third on Maugeri's hit to right before scoring the final run of the game.
Choate, Lairson, and Maugeri each had three hits on the day.
Choate went 3-for-5 with three runs, a double and one RBI; Lairson went 3-for-4 with four runs, a double and two RBI; and Maugeri went a perfect 3-for-3 with a run scored, double and two RBI.
Along with his productive day at the plate, Choate retired nine-straight Bronco hitters in three scoreless, no-hit innings to pick up his first career save.
Defensively, SIU went error free for the first time in 12 games. The last time the Salukis went without an error was in game one of the Central Michigan series (Feb. 23).
The red-hot Salukis improved to 9-1 at home and 13-3 in their last 16 games.
SIU goes for its third series sweep of the season when it squares off against WMU one more time Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m., CST. Junior left-hander Shawn Joy (0-1) will start on the mound.