March 29, 2006
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Senior Matt Brewer went 2-for-3 with a grand slam, one run scored and five RBI to lead Southern Illinois University (17-10) to a 7-1 win over Tennessee-Martin (8-14) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
SIU held a slight 3-1 lead until the eighth inning, where Brewer's grand slam polished off a stretch of four-straight hits to put the game out of reach.
Kevin Koski led off the eighth with a single through the left side. Scott Elmendorf followed with a hit to right and Grant Gerrard reached on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. After falling behind 0-1 in the count, Brewer took Micky Dobson's second delivery deep over the wall in left.
SIU fell behind, 1-0, in the first inning, but tied things up in the third when Ryan Enata drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a single by Mark Kelly, moved to third on Tyler Lairson's sacrifice bunt and scored when Koski grounded out to short.
The Salukis pulled ahead of the Skyhawks in the sixth with the help of back-to-back one-out singles by Elmendorf and Gerrard. Elmendorf would later score on a sacrifice fly in foul territory, while Elmendorf touched home on Dean Cademartori's single.
Brewer's grand slam marked the second of his career. He last accomplished the feat at the University of New Orleans on Mar. 20, 2005. The homer was also his second of the season, with each of those coming against Ohio Valley Conference opponents.
SIU's two-through-five hitters consisting of Elmendorf, Gerrard and Brewer accounted for six of the Salukis' 11 hits and five of the seven runs. Bret Maugeri had two hits, as well.
Catto was one of three relievers who took the mound after Mark Obszanski left the game in the fifth inning. Obszanski scattered five hits, allowed a run, walked two and struck out one in four innings in his first career start.
Derek Link fell to 0-3 on the year for UTM. He gave up four hits and two runs, while striking out two in two innings.
The Saluki bullpen one-hit UTM and held the Skyhawks scoreless for the last five innings of the game.
SIU snapped a three-game winning streak for UTM, who has lost four in a row to the Dawgs.
SIU returns to Missouri Valley Conference play against Bradley this weekend. The Salukis host the Braves in a three-game series, beginning Friday at 2 p.m., CST. Right-hander Jordan Powell will start on the mound.