Brian Bajer hit two home runs Saturday and three in the series
March 20, 2010
By Jason Clay
- The Southern Illinois baseball team won the first game, 5-2, over Northern Illinois but fell, 13-9, in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday at Abe Martin Field.
With Friday's 19-4 victory, the Salukis (7-12) take the series from the Huskies (4-14). SIU has won all three of its three-game series that they've completed this year.
"If you go into a weekend and say you're going to win two out of three, typically you would take that," head coach Dan Callahan said. "Our series with Northern have been very competitive throughout the years and the fact that we won the series is comforting. The fact that we didn't play well in game three is discomforting, but that's baseball."
Senior Tyler Bullock and sophomore Brian Bajer both hit two home runs on the day. Bajer finished with a team-high four RBIs in the two games. Bullock and Chris Serritella, who also hit a home run, led the Dawgs with five hits in the doubleheader.
Southern Illinois got strong performances from senior Nathan Forer and freshman Lee Weld on the mound in game one. The two combined to give up a season-low five hits and no earned runs. Weld (1-3) picked up his first career win, as he came in during the fifth and threw 4.2 innings with four strikeouts.
Bajer hit two of the four Saluki homers in game two. His second one was a three-run shot after his solo bomb in the second, giving him three home runs in the series.
Chuck Lukanen (1-4) picked up the loss for the Huskies in game one and Jeremy Gonzales (2-0) got the win in the second game.
Game one started out with Northern Illinois scoring two runs off a Saluki error in the top of the first.
Southern Illinois did not have a hit until Serritella hit a triple to center to lead off the fourth. He scored on a wild pitch and then Bullock followed with a solo home run to right center to tie the game at two.
Forer regrouped after the first inning error brought in two runs and he pitched three-straight scoreless innings. He was pulled with one out in the fifth after the first two base runners got on base. Weld came on and kept it a tie game by getting two fly outs.
The Salukis went up 4-2 with two unearned runs in the sixth. Serritella then scored in the seventh to make it a three-run game. He got on with a single and advanced to third on a Bullock double that was inches away from being his second homer of the game. Stalter then drove in Serritella with a sacrifice fly to right.
The run support was more than enough for Weld, as he did not give up a single run and closed out the game by striking out three of the last five batters.
Just like in the first game, NIU jumped on the Salukis early. This time they scored three runs in each of the first two innings and added one more in the third.
Southern did nothing to help its cause, as they walked six batters in the first two innings and had one costly error. Two of the three NIU runs in the second were walked in.
Thankfully, SIU played long ball early to keep the game within reach. Serritella started it with a two-run monster blast in the first and Bajer hit a solo shot in the second to cut NIU's lead down to 7-3 after three.
Northern Illinois put up its third, three-run inning in the fifth to lead 10-3.
Bullock got one run back in the fifth on his second solo homer of the day. After yet another three-run Northern Illinois inning, SIU scored five in the sixth to close the gap down to 13-9.
Bajer drove in three of the runs with his second homer and Bullock brought home one with his single down the left-field line.
That was as close as Southern Illinois would get, as NIU's Andy Deain came in to save game two for the Huskies.