March 18, 2007
By Josh Searby
CARBONDALE, Ill.-Shawn Joy went eight sparkling innings and picked up his first career win, as Southern Illinois University (15-6) defeated Western Michigan (4-10), 5-1, earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
The Salukis improved to 10-1 at home and clinched their third series sweep. All three of those sweeps were in Carbondale, with two coming against Mid-American Conference opponents.
Joy (1-1) allowed only one earned run on four hits and struck out four in the longest outing of his career.
"Shawn did a great job for us today," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "He has pitched well enough to win in previous outings, so I am glad he finally got a win."
Joy threw three perfect innings to start the game, before issuing a leadoff walk to Kyle Galbraith. He gave up an ensuing RBI-single to Matt Abro, as the Broncos pulled ahead, 1-0 in the fourth.
The Dawgs, however, tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of that inning.
Two innings later, SIU took the lead with some key hits and plenty of help from the Broncos' defense.
Michael Finigan reached on bloop single to left and moved up a base on a throwing error by WMU left fielder Joe McDonald.
The Salukis blew open the game with three runs on two hits, a walk and two more Bronco errors in the eighth.
Dean Cademartori kept things going with a single to center, and the ball was mis-played by Galbraith, allowing Hills and Kelly to score, pushing the lead to 5-1.
Joy allowed only three hits and retired 10 of 14 hitters over his last four innings.
"I felt very comfortable out there today," said Joy. "I had great command of my three pitches and really kept their hitters off-balance."
Saluki pitching coach Tim Dixon was also pleased with Joy's effort.
"Shawn used all three of his pitches effectively," said Dixon. "He had great control of the strikezone and pitched well."
Bryant George relieved Joy in the ninth, and retired all three hitters he faced to finish off the victory.
Offensively, SIU had eight hits. Bret Maugeri had a game-high two hits.
SIU remains home to host Murray State Wednesday at 2 p.m., CST.