March 31, 2012
By Scott Gierman
WICHITA, Kan. – SIU bounced back from Friday’s 10th inning loss to pound Wichita State 10-3 Saturday afternoon at Eck Stadium. After falling down 3-0 in the third inning, Southern scored 10 runs, the most SIU has ever scored at Eck Stadium.
Former Wichita State Shocker Cameron Maldonado pitched a complete game for the Salukis (15-12, 3-2 MVC), the second of his career, to improve his record to 4-0 on the season.
“All the credit goes to the team,” Maldonado said. “I just tried to throw strikes and let them make the plays behind me so I give all the credit to my teammates. I was just trying to get the first hitter out, trying to get ahead, and it all fell into place.”
Maldonado allowed three runs, two of them earned, off six hits in nine innings of work. He struck out five and did not issue a walk. All the damage against him came early. He allowed one base runner after the third inning and retired the last 13 batters he faced. Maldonado threw exactly 100 pitches.
“Cam had a couple bad breaks early and some runs scored,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said, "but he kept pounding the zone. That was the key today, no walks.”
The game turned around after the fourth inning. After Wichita State starter Mitch Mormann retired the first 10 batters he faced, SIU’s offense exploded for three runs in the fifth inning and added five more in the sixth. In total, Southern scored 10 unanswered runs as Maldonado and the Saluki defense shut down the Shockers.
“We didn’t get off to a great start, and it would’ve been easy to quit but we stayed at it,” Henderson said. “And one thing you can’t overlook is that our defense played phenomenal today. All four infielders made tremendous plays, plays we haven’t been able to make all season. When you’re pitching, and you see your infielders making plays like that, it does wonders for your confidence.”
Jordan Sivertsen put SIU on the board with a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning. It was his third home run of the season. That opened the floodgates for the Saluki offense, which had been held to one single in the first four innings. Later in the fifth, Jake Welch knotted the game at 3-3 with his two-run triple.
T.J. McGreevy took the loss for Wichita State. He was the first of four relievers used by the Shockers. All five of the Salukis runs in the sixth were charged to his account.
Shockers starter Mitch Mormann lasted four and two thirds innings and surrendered three runs off five hits. He took a no-decision, departing with the game tied at 3-3.
Southern Illinois recorded a season high seven extra base hits including two triples and four doubles.
“Once we got a couple key hits,” Henderson said, “we got the momentum going, and what I was most proud of today was that our hitters picked each other up. If someone had a bad at-bat, the next guy came in and got the job done. Good teams do that.”
Wichita State scored a single run in each of the first three innings to build a 3-0 lead. Each of the runs in the first two innings were scored with two outs in the inning.
The series will conclude with Game 3 on Sunday at 1 p.m. when Nathan Dorris takes the mound for SIU.