SIU falls to Illini 2-1 in 10 innings

    Derek Fogel pitched seven scoreless innings in Monday's game.

    Derek Fogel pitched seven scoreless innings in Monday's game.
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    March 18, 2013

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    MARION, Ill. - SIU let an eighth-inning lead slip away and lost 2-1 to Illinois in the 10th inning Monday evening at Rent One Park. It was the second straight 10th inning loss for the Salukis (9-10) as Illinois (13-4) completed a three-game sweep.

    The Illini took their first lead of the game with one out in the extra frame when Michael Hurwitz singled to drive in Brandon Hohl. Hohl had led off the inning with an infield single.

    Todd Eaton surrendered the go-ahead run after pitching a perfect ninth inning to keep the game locked in a 1-1 tie. With the loss, Eaton's season record dropped to 0-1.

    Illinois tied the game at 1-1 in the eighth inning with Ryan Nagel's one-out, pinch-hit RBI single, which bounced into the outfield, just out of the reach of second baseman Jake Welch.

    Bryan Roberts retired all seven Saluki hitters he faced and recorded four strikeouts as he earned the win. Reid Roper pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save of the season.

    SIU scored its only run of the game in the fourth. The Salukis looked poised for a big inning when Jake Welch hit a leadoff single and moved to third when Matt Jones perfectly executed a hit-and-run with a single through the hole in the right side of the infield. Welch scored when Austin Montgomery hit into a double play, and the inning concluded on a flyout.

    Southern Illinois' offense managed just three hits and only one after the fourth inning.

    "We didn't have a chance to score much tonight because we didn't take many good swings," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said.

    The offensive struggles spoiled the strongest outing of Derek Fogel's young Saluki career.

    Fogel scattered six hits in seven scoreless innings for the Salukis. He issued one walk and struck out four Illini hitters. For the second time this season, he left in line for his first victory before SIU surrendered a late lead.

    "My arm felt the best it's felt in a while," Fogel said. "I knew it was going to be a low scoring day, so I just had to keep throwing up zeros, and too bad it slipped away."

    Southern Illinois' defense helped keep the Illini scoreless through the first seven innings. SIU turned double plays in the fourth and seventh, and Cody Daily made an array of great plays on hard hit balls to third base.

    "Daily made some serious clutch plays," Fogel said. "We spun a couple big double plays. The defense came up big, the left side in particular."

    The Salukis missed a great opportunity to extend their 1-0 lead in the seventh inning when Ryan Casillas led off with a double. Following a pair of walks, SIU had the bases loaded with one out, but the next two batters struck out to end the inning without producing a run.

    "We just try to do too much," Henderson said. "We're up there swinging as hard as we can possibly swing trying to hit the ball, and nobody can hit that way. We have juniors and seniors who are just not adjusting."

    The Salukis will look to snap the three-game losing streak on Tuesday with a road contest against Eastern Illinois at 3 p.m.