Cody Forsythe allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings to lower his conference ERA to 1.43 since the start of his sophomore year.
March 23, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Southern Illinois suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses to Indiana State Saturday afternoon at Bob Warn Field. The Salukis (9-14, 0-3 MVC) lost the first game 1-0 in the 11th inning and surrendered a two-run eighth inning lead to lose 8-4 to Indiana State (11-7, 3-0 MVC) in the second game. With the losses, SIU has dropped seven in a row.
“We don’t perform in the crunch time,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “That’s why we lost two games. Those were two winnable games today.”
The first game ended on Aaron Snyder’s wild pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning. Landon Curry scored the winning run and broke the scoreless tie with the bases loaded.
Snyder took the loss after pitching a scoreless 10th inning to extend the game. Josh Dove pitched the 10th and 11th for Indiana State and took home his second win of the year.
Tyler Dray pitched a scoreless ninth inning out of the bullpen for the Salukis to send the game into extra innings.
Each team received a tremendous performance from its starting pitcher, but neither was able to capitalize off of it.
Cody Forsythe pitched eight scoreless innings for the Salukis. He held the Sycamores to two hits. The senior recorded a season-high seven strikeouts and retired the last seven batters he faced.
“He was awfully good,” Henderson said. “He and (in Friday’s loss Sam) Coonrod threw as well as they’ve thrown all year, and they have nothing to show for it. I feel bad for Cody because all we had to do was give him one run, and we couldn’t do that. He deserved better.”
Southern Illinois had opportunities in the ninth and tenth innings. In the ninth, Jake Welch doubled to left when Owen Conway lost a ball in the sun. Following an intentional walk to Brock Harding, both Matt Jones and Austin Montgomery flew out to end the inning.
In the 10th, Ryan Casillas singled through the left side of the infield, and pinch hitter Luke Mottashed worked a walk to again put two on with one out, but pinch hitter Nick Johnson grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. SIU was also able to move a runner to second base in the top of the 11th before surrendering the game-ending run in the bottom of the inning.
“We gave them the first game,” Henderson said. “We had opportunities to score. We got a runner to second in the fifth inning and didn’t even move him. Three hitters later, he’s still at second base. That’s not being able to perform when it counts. We’re not going to have success until we learn to do that.”
In the finale, SIU held a 4-2 advantage heading to the bottom of the eighth. However, the Salukis could not maintain the lead. After Koby Kraemer’s sacrifice fly cut it to 4-2 in the sixth, the Sycamores exploded for six runs in the eighth inning to take a commanding 8-4 lead. Only two of the runs in the inning were earned.
“There’s no way they could beat us today if we don’t help them,” Henderson said. “We had a two-run lead in the eighth inning and the wind blowing straight in. They were not going to beat us. We gave them a gift.”
After Lee Weld issued two one-out walks in the eighth, Todd Eaton entered the game looking for his fourth save of the season. He surrendered a single to load the bases then walked in a run to cut the lead to 4-3. The tying and go-ahead runs came home when the next batter, Owen Conway, hit a slow roller that shortstop Ryan Rosthenhausler booted and then threw past Jake Welch at second base and into right field. Two runs crossed the plate on the play to give Indiana State a 5-4 lead.
Eaton then intentionally walked Tyler Wampler to load the bases, and after a strikeout, allowed another bases loaded walk followed by a two-run double to cap the six-run inning.
“All we had to do in the second game was throw strikes, and the game is over,” Henderson said. “We couldn’t throw strikes. We walked four guys and kicked a routine ground ball on turf.”
Eaton took the loss, although none of the four runs against him were earned. It was his first blown save of the season.
SIU had built a 4-1 lead with Ryan Casilla’s three-run home run in the in top of the fifth inning. It came after a pair of two-out singles by Matt Jones and Austin Montgomery. Jones’ single scored Jake Welch from second base and tied the game at 1-1.
For the Salukis, it appeared to be an inning that could change their fortunes as they exploded for four runs and four hits after being held to a single run off seven hits in the first two games of the series.
Derek Fogel made the start for SIU and pitched well. He allowed two runs off four hits in seven innings of work but could not record his elusive first win. For Fogel it was the second start in a row and third time in his last four outings that he left with a lead that the Salukis could not maintain.
“Conference games are going to be close games,” Henderson said. “There’s going to be pressure situations, and if we can’t handle the pressure then we’re not going to have success.”