March 25, 2008
By Jeff Honza
CHARLESTON, Ill. - Bret Maugeri drew a bases loaded walk to plate the go-ahead run with two outs in the ninth, as Southern Illinois University (11-8) hung on for a 3-1 win over Eastern Illinois (8-10) earlier today at Coaches Stadium.
The game was tied 1-1 when Maugeri worked EIU reliever Tyler Brandon for a 3-2 count before walking in Lou Johanns from third.
Aaron Roberts then delivered Scott Foley's first pitch into left field to score Adam Hills and clinch the 3-1 win for the Dawgs. Both runs were unearned, as a EIU error kept the inning alive just before Maugeri's walk.
Saluki true freshman left-hander Nick Rice pitched a gem, despite not getting credit for the win.
In just his second start of the season, Rice allowed only three hits, struck out two , gave up just one run and walked none in seven innings.
Rice retired 10 in a row to start the game before giving up two hits and his only run in the fourth. Following Alex Gee's two-out hit in the fourth, Rice proceeded to sit down nine more Panther hitters prior to his exit in the seventh.
"Nick pitched a great game for us," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "He did an excellent job locating his pitches."
Daniel Wells (2-0) relieved Rice in the eighth and tossed two scoreless, no-hit innings to earn the win. Wells retired five of six and pitched a perfect ninth.
Offensively, SIU left a season-high 13 runners on base, but stepped up when it needed to. The Salukis scored all three of their runs with two outs.
SIU had just six hits on the day, with two each coming from Maugeri and Roberts. Hills and Johanns followed with one apiece. Hills returned to the lineup after missing SIU's last two games with a sore back.
Curt Restko, Gee and Jordan Kreke combined for EIU's silent three hits.
The Salukis snapped EIU's five-game winning streak with their late rally in the ninth.
SIU returns to Carbondale to host Tennessee-Martin Wednesday at 2 p.m., CST. David Kington (1-0) will start on the mound.