March 19, 2003
Carbondale, Ill. - Jonesboro native Josh Joiner struck out three batters in a magnificent eight-inning performance to lead Southern Illinois (9-8) to a 3-0 shutout over Murray State (8-8) earlier today at Abe Martin Field. The shutout was the Salukis' first of the season.
The win marked SIU's fourth straight over MSU and pushed the Salukis' all-time record to 33-8 against the Thoroughbreds.
Right-hander Joiner, who appeared to be shaky in his first two starts of the season after allowing 21 runs and 17 hits in 9.1 innings, was a completely different pitcher today.
Joiner retired 22 of 24 batters, including nine straight between the third and fifth innings. He also threw a two-hitter without issuing any walks.
While Joiner was remarkable on the mound, the SIU offense came through as well.
Despite leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, the Salukis were able to push another run across thanks to a wild pitch by Thoroughbred hurler Craig Kraus. Frisella, who scored an unearned run from third, gave SIU a 2-0 lead.
A two-out solo home run by Sal Frisella in the bottom of the fifth sealed the 3-0 shutout for the Salukis. Frisella's bomb, which cleared an estimated 370 feet in left center, marked his team-leading third of the season.
Joiner, who evened his record to 2-2 on the season, was relieved by Finigan in the ninth who threw the final inning to pick up his third save. Finigan recorded two fly ball outs en route to sitting down the Thoroughbreds in order.
Kowzan belted a pair of doubles to finish at 2-for-4 with a run scored on the day. Toby Barnett also went 2-for-2, while Frisella and Finigan each went 1-for-3 with a RBI.
Additionally, Frisella's home run marked the 23rd of his career, moving him into a tie for seventh on the school's career home run chart. Frisella and Gerry Pitchford (1985-86) now share that spot.
The Saluki defense had a good day as well, going errorless for just the second time this season.
Kraus (0-1) gave up five hits and two runs in 3.2 innings to take the loss for MSU. Matt Rebout and J.D. Merritt each singled for the Thoroughbreds' quiet two hits.
SIU, who moved to 5-2 at home this season, will open Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend. The Salukis will host Northern Iowa in a four-game series beginning with a single game at 2 p.m., on Friday, March 21.