March 22, 2006
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Senior right fielder Grant Gerrard narrowly missed hitting for the cycle when he went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, three runs scored, two RBI and a stolen base in Southern Illinois University's (14-9) 8-4 win over Murray State (7-13) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
Gerrard, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, had a sacrifice fly, which helped SIU take a 2-0 lead in the first.
Three innings later, he singled, stole a base and scored in the fourth.
Gerrard then knocked home the tying run with a triple down the right field line in the sixth. After scoring the go-ahead run in the same inning, he came to bat one last time in the eighth, where he doubled and scored again.
"I saw some things I liked today and it was good to get this win at home before heading to Wichita this weekend," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan "It's nice to get some momentum back after going 0-4 in Texas last week."
SIU trailed, 4-3, before getting its first two runners on base in the sixth.
Scott Elmendorf drew a leadoff walk and touched home on Gerrard's triple. Erik Alvarez followed with a sacrifice fly and Gerrard scored. Matt Brewer kept the rally alive with a two-out walk, stole second and went to third on an error. Bret Maugeri's single drove in Brewer to give the Salukis a 6-4 lead.
SIU, who never fell behind again after its three-run sixth, added a couple more runs in the eighth.
Gerrard and Alvarez started things off with back-to-back doubles. Following Dean Cademartori's strikeout, Brewer singled to right center and Gerrard scored. Freshman
pinch-hitter Mark Kelly's sacrifice fly then plated Brewer to cap the 8-4 win.
Norrick, who threw 48 pitches, issued back-to-back walks and hit a batter to give MSU a no-out bases loaded situation in the first. However, he escaped the jam by catching the next three Thoroughbred hitters looking on strikes.
Ryan Welch took over for Norrick and was charged with four unearned runs in 1.1 innings, before Saluki relievers Charlie Weber, Danny Wells, Cody Adams, Adam Snyder and Mark Obszanski teamed up to shutout the `Breds in the final 5.1 frames.
Wells was credited with the win after striking out two in the sixth. The win marked the first of Wells' career, as he evened his record at 1-1.
"It feels good to get that first win," said Wells. "I was making pitches and competing, and was happy to get the job done."
Wells also commented on Norrick's start.
"It's so big for the moral of our team to have Tyler out there," said Wells. "We needed a confidence booster today and he gave us one."
Gerrard and Brewer each had three hits to lead SIU, who finished with 10 hits on the day.
Today's win snapped a season-long four-game losing streak for SIU, who opens Missouri Valley Conference play at No. 11 Wichita State this weekend.
The Shockers and Salukis, picked one and two in the MVC preseason poll, play a three-game series, beginning Friday at 3 p.m., CST.
All three games of the series will be broadcast on WCIL 1020 AM and www.siusalukis.com.