March 23, 2007
By Josh Searby
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Mark Kelly went 4-for-4 with a double and three RBI to lead Southern Illinois University (17-6, 1-0) to a 6-3 win over Illinois State (9-10, 0-1) earlier today in both teams' Missouri Valley Conference opener at Abe Martin Field.
Kelly, who extended his hitting streak to 19 games, lifted SIU to its fifth-straight win. The Salukis, now 12-1 at home, also won their sixth conference-opener in a row.
SIU plated five runs on five hits in the second inning and never looked back.
The Salukis badgered ISU starter Ryan Copeland for seven hits and five runs in just 1.1 innings.
Tyler Choate reached on a one-out double to right and scored on a triple by Tyler Lairson. Michael Finigan followed with a single up the middle and Lairson touched home. Aaron Roberts' run-scoring single and Mark Kelly's two-RBI double then gave SIU a 5-0 lead.
SIU held a 6-2 lead up until the sixth inning, which is where the Redbirds really threatened.
Ryan Anetsberger led off with a home run to left. Kevin Dubler and Jesse Griswold followed with a double and single, respectively, to give ISU runners at the corners with no outs.
"That was a crucial part of the game," said Callahan. "Kyle did a great job to come in and get three outs without allowing a single run to score."
Powell posted his fifth-straight win on the mound, improving to 5-2. He allowed three runs and six hits, while striking out three in five innings.
Bryant George pitched a one-two-three ninth to pick up his team-high fifth save.
On the day, the Saluki bullpen accounted for just two hits in four innings of shutout baseball.
Offensively, SIU out-hit ISU, 13-7, with Kelly (4), Roberts (3) and Finigan (3) leading the way with three or more hits. Kelly and Roberts have been the Dawgs' hottest hitters as of late.
The Salukis and Redbirds resume their series tomorrow at 2 p.m., CST. Sophomore right-hander Cody Adams (6-0) will take the mound.