March 30, 2012
By Scott Gierman
WICHITA, Kan. - SIU outhit and outpitched Wichita State for nine innings but lost 4-3 in 10 innings Friday evening at Eck Stadium when the winning run crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The winning run was the only earned run Southern Illinois (14-12, 2-2 MVC) allowed against the Shockers (16-13, 1-0 MVC).
"I was proud of our effort today," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. "Our kids played hard and we should've won the game, but we can learn from it."
Aaron Snyder walked Don Lambert to start the 10th inning. After Lambert stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout, he scored on a pitch in the turf. The ball rolled away before catcher Brian Bajer could get a glove on it, and Lambert slid in safely before the throw to Snyder at the plate.
Snyder had pitched a scoreless ninth inning to send the game to extra innings.
Cale Elam earned the win for WSU. He pitched two perfect innings in relief and struck out two batters.
The Shockers tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on Erik Harbutz' RBI single to score Don Lambert from third base. The run was unearned because Lambert had advanced to third on a passed ball. Todd Eaton was credited with a blown save, his third of the season. None of his blown saves have involved any earned runs.
"We didn't make (Wichita State) earn it today," Henderson said. "We gave them gifts and they took advantage of it. We gave up four hits and gave up four runs and didn't make them earn their way on base."
The Salukis loss spoiled a tremendous outing from starting pitcher Cody Forsythe. Forsythe pitched seven strong innings for Southern. He allowed two unearned runs in the second inning, and held the Shockers to just one hit the rest of the way. He retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced.
Wichita State starter Josh Smith was solid. He allowed three runs in seven and a third innings in the no-decision. Smith struck out seven batters and did not issue any walks.
Wichita State scored their first two runs in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a fielding error and a balk.
The series will continue on Saturday at Eck Stadium with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.