Matt Jones gave SIU a 2-1 lead in the third inning with his second home run of the season.
March 19, 2013
CHARLESTON, Ill. – SIU’s four-run ninth inning rally was not enough as the Salukis lost to Eastern Illinois 11-7 Tuesday afternoon at Coaches Field. The Salukis (9-11) finally came through in the ninth, but they had dug themselves into an eight-run hole after eight innings. The Salukis have now lost four games in a row.
“We weren’t ready to play, and our effort was by far the worst of the year,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “That’s what happens when you don’t show up to play, you play terribly.”
After stranding 10 runners in the first eight innings, the Salukis finally broke through in the ninth with three run-scoring singles. The first two batters of the inning struck out against reliever George Kalousek. Kalousek then hit Ryan Casillas and walked Nick Johnson. Brock Harding and Luke Mottashed hit consecutive RBI singles to cut the deficit to 11-5 and knock Kalousek out of the game.
His replacement, Garrison Stenger walked Ryan Rosthenhausler to load the bases for Rennie Troggio. Troggio singled to score Harding and Mottashed and make it a four-run game. Jake Welch followed with a ground ball that should’ve ended the game but was booted by shortstop Mitch Gasbarro. That loaded the bases once again for Wes Neece who grounded out to second base to end the game
Southern Illinois committed a season-high four errors, which led to six unearned runs for EIU.
“We had four errors in the books,” Henderson said, “but we had two other plays where we dropped balls that cost us runs, and we had two mental errors on the infield that cost us runs, so in my book, that’s eight errors.”
Eastern appeared to put the game away with a four-run seventh inning, which opened up a 10-3 lead. The inning began when Nick Priessman singled and Demetre Taylor walked. Jacob Reese followed and dropped down a sacrifice bunt. Pitcher Matt Murphy fielded the ball, but his throw to first base was off the mark, allowing Priessman to score.
Lee Weld entered the game and struck out the next two batters before surrendering a three-run homer to Sopena.
Saluki pitchers issued seven walks in the game and surrendered a season-high 11 runs off a season-high 11 hits.
“We didn’t overcome adversity on the mound,” Henderson said. “It seemed like we’d make an error and then decided we’d just walk the next guy.”
Starter Brad Drust took the loss for SIU to fall to 1-2 on the season. He allowed four runs off four hits in two and a third innings of work. Only one of the runs against him was earned.
After surrendering an unearned run in the first inning, SIU took a brief 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning on Jones’ two-run home run, his second of the season.
However, the Panthers responded with three runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the fourth to take a 6-3 lead.
SIU will open conference play on Friday with the start of a three-game series at Indiana State. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Central Time.