Chirs Murphy tied his career-high with four hits Tuesday
March 23, 2010
By Jason Clay
MARTIN, Tenn. - Junior right-handed pitcher Andrew Bever only gave up three hits and one run in six innings as he led the Southern Illinois baseball team to a 20-3 victory over UT Martin on Tuesday at Skyhawk Field.
Southern Illinois (8-12) scored runs in five of the first six innings and behind Bever's performance, strolled past UT Martin (11-9). The Skyhawks scored 53 runs and hit 15 homers in their three previous games, but got next to nothing off Bever who did not give up a hit until the fifth inning. UTM only had six hits in the game.
"I was excited about the start and I had a good feeling coming into the game when coach (Tim) Dixon told me I would start," said Bever, who was making his first career start. "I worked hard all year for this and when game time came around, I knew I was prepared."
SIU posted a season-high 23 hits, 19 that went for singles, while SIU's 20 runs are the most scored since 2004. Every Saluki in the starting lineup had a hit Tuesday and eight of the nine had at least two hits.
"I was very pleased with our guys today and it all starts on the mound," head coach Dan Callahan said. "We did a great job on offense putting pressure on them early. Bever was throwing well and I think our offense gave him confidence. It was a good all-around game."
Chris Serritella and Brock Harding both had three hits in the game and Chris Murphy had four. Serritella led SIU by going 3-for-4 with five RBIs, four runs scored and one home run to extend his league-leading total to eight on the year.
Murphy's four-hit performance tied his career-high and he drove in one run and scored four. Harding, who was in the starting lineup for the first time since March 14, was 3-for-5 with a walk, a double and three runs scored.
The Salukis jumped on UTM right from the beginning, scoring three runs on three hits in the first inning. SIU's first four batters reached base and Serritella drove home one run with a single and Bullock followed with a two-run base hit.
Southern then gave Bever a six-run cushion by capitalizing in both the second and the third innings with two outs.
Harding scored in the second on a first and third, double steal. Then in the third Roberts and Lepore both brought home runners from second with outfield singles.
Bever was cruising to start the game and he retired the first nine batters he faced. He threw a three-pitch third inning.
In comparison, the Salukis had two hits on two pitches to start the fourth, when they scored three more runs to push its lead up to 9-0. SIU had 12 hits through four innings and UT Martin had none.
The Skyhawks finally got to Bever in the fifth with three hits and one run. Bever exited after the sixth with a 12-1 lead.
SIU added four runs in the eighth, three of which came from Serritella's three-run home run to left-center.
UT Martin scored two in the eighth and SIU added four in the ninth behind Pinnon's homer.
The Salukis host Eastern Illinois on Wednesday at 3 p.m. before opening MVC play with a three-game series vs. Creighton at Abe Martin Field.