March 25, 2009
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Tyler Bullock went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, two runs scored and three RBI and lefthander Jimmy Cornell recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in five scoreless innings to lead Southern Illinois (11-13) to a 10-3 win over Arkansas State (9-12) Wednesday.
SIU, which faced ASU in Carbondale for the first time since 1995, extended its winning streak to a season-long four games. The Salukis beat the Red Wolves by the exact same score that they did a year ago.
The Dawgs, who never trailed in the game, built an early 5-0 lead after scoring twice in the second and three times in the third.
Bullock doubled home Mark Kelly and scored on an infield single by Tony Lepore in the second inning. Kelly, after reaching on a one-out double, came around to score on an ensuing single by Chris Serritella in the third. Bullock then slugged a two-run homer to right center.
SIU tacked on four more runs in the seventh.
Michael Stalter led things off with a single to left and went to second on a base hit by Kelly. Serritella followed with a single to right and Stalter scored. Scott Elmendorf knocked in Kelly on a double to center, before Jordan Sivertsen plated Serritella and Elmendorf on another single, pushing SIU's lead to 9-0.
Cornell (1-1) picked up his first career win as a starter. He also allowed just three hits and walked one in his dazzling performance. Cornell's eight strikeouts marked the most by a Saluki pitcher in a game this season.
Righthander Drew Benes (2-3), the son of former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Andy Benes, suffered the loss for ASU. Benes gave up eight hits and five runs, while striking out one and walking none in three inning of work.
Offensively, SIU pounded out 18 hits, its second-most in a game this year. Bullock, Kelly and Sivertsen each had three hits to lead the way.
Bullock, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games, was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, while Kelly went a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Sivertsen was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Serritella and Lepore followed with two hits apiece. Serritella went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI en route to pushing his hitting streak to a season-long 11 games. Lepore finished at 2-for-5 with a run scored.
SIU scored six runs and posted six hits with two outs today. In addition, the Salukis had five extra-base hits, their second-most in a game this season.
SIU returns to Missouri Valley Conference action when it visits Creighton this weekend. The Salukis and Bluejays open a three-game series on Friday at 4 p.m., CT.