Cody Daily recorded his second three-hit day of the season and had the game-winning hit.
March 18, 2014
By Scott Gierman
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Cody Daily’s third hit of the day lifted Southern Illinois to a 3-2 walk-off win over Eastern Illinois Tuesday evening at Itchy Jones Stadium. The game-wining hit capped a two-run rally for the Salukis (11-8), who trailed EIU (4-16) by a 2-1 score entering the bottom of the ninth inning. SIU’s first walk-off win of the season gave the Salukis their third win in a row.
Daily hit a two-out double to left field to score Matt Jones from first base with the winning run.
“I thought it was going to go foul,” Daily said. “I was trying to keep my hands inside and look for a good pitch to hit. Luckily it snuck inside the line.”
Southern was down to its last strike when Jones hit a soft single over the right side of the infield to score Ryan Rosthenhauler from third base to tie the game at 2-2.
“I was trying to hit it up the middle,” Jones said. “I got kind of lucky. I got jammed and was able to push it to right field. I wasn’t trying to hit it out of the yard because it’s so windy, and I found a hole.”
Rosthenhausler led off the inning with a single and moved over on a sacrifice and a ground out. Jones scored from first base and had no thoughts of stopping at third base when Daily doubled into the left field corner.
“Being a catcher, I don’t have great wheels. I kind of blacked out when I rounded third,” Jones said with a smile. “I saw (Coach Ken Henderson) signaling me. I thought, you’re crazy. You have a catcher running, but it worked out for us.”
Eastern Illinois had stolen the momentum in the top of the ninth inning when Adam Casson hit a two-out RBI single off Kyle Pauly to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Tyler Schweigert scored the go-ahead run from second base. He reached on a walk and moved to second base on a wild pitch.
Lee Weld threw one pitch and earned the win for SIU. He relieved Pauly following Casson’s single and induced a pop up to end the inning.
Troy Barton started the ninth for the Panthers and took the loss after blowing the save. It spoiled the win for EIU reliever Joe Greenfield, who allowed one unearned run in three innings of relief.
Eastern Illinois had a 1-0 lead heading to the seventh inning. EIU manufactured a run in the top of the first when Frankie Perrone drew a leadoff walk, advanced on a pair of groundouts and scored on a wild pitch.
Southern Illinois tied the game at 1-1 with an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Welch led off the inning with a bunt single and moved to second base on a failed pickoff attempt. After Ryan Sabo singled Welch to third base, Daily drove him home with a sacrifice fly.
SIU outhit Eastern by a margin of 12-2 but stranded 10 runners. The Salukis left the bases loaded in the first inning and stranded a runner in every inning from the third through the sixth before finally plating their first run in the seventh.
“We have to execute better on offense,” Henderson said. “We got three runs off 12 hits because we didn’t execute on offense. We didn’t have quality ABs with runners in scoring position, and we didn’t bunt move runners over.”
SIU starter Connor McFadden left in line for the loss after four and two-thirds innings despite not allowing a hit. EIU’s first hit came with one out in the seventh inning when Jason Scholl singled to right.
“Our guys didn’t quit,” Henderson said. “They kept competing, and good things will happen when you do that. Other than that, we didn’t do too much well, but we found a way.”