Ryan Rosthenhausler's third hit of the day secured the win for SIU.
March 29, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois scored two runs in the bottom of the 10th inning for a 4-3 walk-off win over Eastern Kentucky Friday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. For the Salukis (11-14), it was their second straight win over the Colonels (5-17).
"It shouldn't have come down to (needing a game-winning hit in the 10th inning)," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said, "but we didn't quit, and we kept battling. Hopefully to not quit there and to come back is a good sign."
Ryan Rosthenhausler was the hero with a 10th inning RBI single through the middle of the infield. It was his third hit of the day and scored Wes Neece from second base. Neece had tied the game at 3-3 one batter earlier with a double over the head of Austin Grisham in center field.
"I told (Jake Welch) when I was on deck sorry that you're not going to hit because I'm going to win the game right here," Rosthenhausler said with a smile. "I was feeling pretty good and good things happened."
After SIU had battled to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Eastern Kentucky responded with a run in the top of the 10th to take a 3-2 lead.
The Colonel's 10th-inning run came against Lee Weld on Demetrius Moorer's RBI single with two outs. It was the only run that Weld surrendered in three innings of relief. He had nearly escaped the inning without any damage after surrendering back-to-back hits to put runners at the corners with nobody out.
Weld took the victory, his second of the season. Meanwhile Eric Nerl blew the save and surrendered the go-ahead run in the 10th to take his first loss of the season.
In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Jones tied the game at 2-2 with a one-out double to left-center field. That plated Welch, who had drawn a lead-off walk. However, Jones remained stranded at second base as the game moved to extra innings.
Saluki starter Cody Forsythe again pitched a gem but could not get the run support to give him a win. In seven innings, he allowed two runs off three hits and left the game with SIU trailing 2-1. After surrendering a two-run single in the third inning, he did not allow a single baserunner the rest of the way as he retired the last 14 batters he faced. He matched a season high with seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
"Early on, he almost threw too many strikes," Henderson said. "They're a very aggressive club, and they're going to battle hard with two strikes, so he was too much around the zone. You hate to criticize a guy for that. He did settle in after the third inning, and he was awfully good today."
Before tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, SIU had scored just one unearned run off three hits in the game. The Salukis scored three runs off three hits in the ninth and 10th innings.
"I'm frustrated with our inability to swing the bats," Henderson said. "We had four hits in the first nine innings. It's not excusable. We have to figure that out."
SIU will try for its second three-game series sweep of the season in Saturday's finale against Eastern Kentucky.