Kevin Koski posted his team-high 12th multiple-hit game against No. 11 Wichita State Friday
March 24, 2006
By Jeff Honza
WICHITA, Kan. - Southern Illinois University (15-9, 1-0) jumped on No. 11 Wichita State (20-4, 0-1) early and never looked back in a 4-2 win at Eck Stadium today. The Salukis, who posted their first series-opening win in Wichita since 1996, handed the Shockers their first loss at home this season.
SIU, who is a near-perfect 8-1 when scoring first, took a 2-0 lead right out of the gate.
"It was huge to come out and score two runs in the first inning," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "That set the tone for the entire game."
Kevin Koski led the game off with a single to right and quickly moved into scoring position on an ensuing sacrifice bunt by Scott Elmendorf. Grant Gerrard struck out, but reached base when Shocker catcher Brandon Hall dropped the third strike. Hall's passed ball proved costly, as both Koski and Gerrard came around to score.
The Salukis extended their lead to 3-0 in the third when Koski drew a leadoff walk and scored on a base hit by Gerrard. Gerrard's single to right center upped his hitting streak to 12 games.
SIU starting right-hander Jordan Powell ran into trouble in the bottom of the third, where he issued back-to-back walks and gave up a single. With two outs and the bases loaded, Powell escaped the jam when he got Tyler Hill to ground out to third.
Powell, who moved to 4-2 on the year, allowed just two hits, walked five and struck out four in 6.1 scoreless innings. He also threw 120 pitches before leaving the game in the seventh.
SIU's top reliever Adam Snyder then took over and retired three-straight Shockers before giving up a walk and two singles in the eighth. WSU, who struggled to get the big hit all day, narrowed the gap to 4-2 on Matt Brown's two-out, two-RBI single to right center.
Once Snyder got out of the eighth, Dusty Baker took the mound to close things out in the ninth.
Brandon Hall began the ninth by reaching on an error. Baker then forced Noah Krol to fly out to center before getting Kenny Waddell to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game. Baker earned his team-leading fifth save.
Travis Banwart (5-2) suffered the loss for the Shockers. He allowed five hits and four runs, while recording eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings.
WSU had won 16 of its last 17 games and was a perfect 10-0 at home before losing to the Dawgs today.
Koski went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Koski, who hails from Schaumburg, Ill., also had five putouts in center field.
Elmendorf followed by going 2-for-3 with a RBI. Koski and Elmendorf lead the Salukis with 12 and 11 multiple-hit games, respectively, after 24 games.
"Kevin is our table-setter and it's typical how his hitting spreads through our lineup," said Callahan. "For a freshman playing his first series in Wichita, Scott played like he'd been here before. He had a great game."
WSU and SIU, tabbed one and two in the Valley's preseason poll this season, resume their series tomorrow at 2 p.m., CST. Matt Brewer will get the ball for the Salukis.
Tomorrow's game will be simulcast on WCIL 1020 AM and www.siusalukis.com.