Salukis fall to MSU 6-5 in 10 innings in Sunday's finale

    Ryan Casillas drove in two runs Sunday and had five RBIs in the series.

    Ryan Casillas drove in two runs Sunday and had five RBIs in the series.
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    March 30, 2014

    Box Score

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Missouri State snuck past Southern Illinois by a 6-5 margin when the winning run scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning Sunday afternoon at Hammons Field. With the loss, the Salukis (14-12, 1-2 MVC) dropped two out of three games in their conference opening series against the Bears (12-14, 3-3 MVC). It was the fourth extra-innings game in SIU’s last six contests.

    Eric Cheray drew a leadoff walk from Kyle Pruemer in the 10th and scored on Tyler Dray’s bases-loaded wild pitch with Blake Graham at the plate. Cheray moved to second base on Aaron Meyer’s groundout. After issuing an intentional pass to Matt Foltz, Pruemer was replaced by Dray. The Bears executed a double steal on Dray’s first pitch, and the Salukis responded by intentionally walking Dylan Becker to load the bases. Dray’s first pitch to Graham was in the dirt and allowed Cheray to end the game.

    The Saluki bullpen, which had been nearly flawless all season, allowed three runs in four innings of work.

    “Our bullpen has been great all year pitching with a lead,” Henderson said. “We just couldn’t finish today.”

    SIU took a 3-2 lead in the second inning and led for most of the game until Tate Matheny tied the game at 5-5 with a two-run home run in the seventh inning. It was his second home run of the game and his third in his last five at-bats.

    “We made a big mistake in the seventh inning,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “He was the only guy on the field who could beat us, and we let him beat us. We were trying to pitch around him. We made a mistake on the first pitch, and he hit the ball out. Suddenly it’s a tie ballgame. That’s the difference in the game.”



    In the first inning, Matheny broke up Saluki starter Aaron Hauge’s streak of 16 consecutive scoreless innings with a two-run home run to left-center field. That gave the Bears a 2-0 lead.

    “I thought we played well all day,” Henderson said. “As a matter of fact, I think we outplayed them. We just let one guy beat us. Other than that, we did a great job. That’s frustrating.”

    Southern Illinois quickly wrestled control back from the Bears, scoring three unearned runs in the top of the second inning to take a 3-2 advantage. SIU added another run in the third when Parker Osborne hit a one-out double and scored on Ryan Casillas’ sac fly to deep center field.

    Missouri State cut the SIU lead to 4-3 in the fourth when Cheray drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and scored on Cory Kay’s two-out bloop single.

    SIU again responded and extended the lead to 5-3 in the fifth as Cody Daily hit a leadoff double and scored on Casillas’ single to left field. It was Casillas’ fifth RBI of the series.

    Hauge didn’t have his best stuff but battled through five-plus innings. He allowed three runs off five hits and left in line for his team-leading fourth win of the season after surrendering a leadoff single in the sixth.

    “I couldn’t really find my fastball,” Hauge said. “I tried making adjustments, but it’s pretty hard to get guys out when you can’t get a first pitch fastball over. I just didn’t have my best stuff, but I gave it all I had.”

    Southern will take Monday off and return to action on Tuesday against the University of Missouri in O’Fallon, Mo. at 6:30 p.m. before returning home to face Murray State on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Itchy Jones Stadium.