April 1, 2007
By Jeff Honza
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Dean Cademartori walked in the tying run with two outs in the ninth and drove in the go-ahead run on a one-out double in the 11th to lead Southern Illinois University (21-8, 4-2) to a thrilling 8-5 win over Evansville (19-11, 3-3) earlier today at Braun Stadium.
SIU regrouped to snap a six-game losing streak against UE after being run-ruled by the Aces in each of the last three meetings between these teams.
"Today was a huge win for us," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "We had some great at-bats at crucial times and our bullpen rose to the occasion when the game was on the line."
SIU trailed by a run, had the bases loaded and was down to its last out when Cademartori drew the biggest walk of his career. Cademartori took Matt Brinkmann's borderline 3-2 pitch over the inside part of the plate, allowing Aaron Roberts to tie the game.
Cademartori had another heroic at-bat in a wild 11th inning.
After fouling off five consecutive two-strike pitches, Cademartori hit a routine fly ball to right with one out and runners on first and third.
Jeff Zelenovich settled under the ball, but fell down on the play. As a result, Cademartori ended up with a double and Roberts touched home for the go-ahead run.
Tyler Lairson's two-out double to right was the final back-breaker for UE.
With Adam Hills on third and Cademartori at second, Lairson belted his eighth double of the season to right field, giving the Dawgs a 8-5 lead.
SIU appeared to be in control early on.
Three consecutive singles by Robbie Minor, Kirk Bacsu and Zelenovich ignited a one-out rally against SIU reliever Ian Reinhart.
A pair of two-out RBI-hits, including a pinch-hit base knock by Baehl and a double by Jim Viscomi sent the crowd into a frenzy, as UE took a 5-4 lead.
From that point on, it was a flair for the dramatic.
Reinhart plunked Ty Legan to start the bottom of the ninth. The Salukis then had Legan caught up between second and first, but he was ruled safe on an error at second.
Kasey Wahl's fly ball to center moved Legan to third and Pat Tumilty, after being intentionally walked, was given second base on defensive indifference.
Reinhart gave way to freshman Bryant George, who got SIU out of a second-and-third, one-out jam by striking out Minor and getting Bacsu to ground out to second.
George went on to retire six of seven hitters and toss a one-two-three 11th after that.
George (1-0) earned his first collegiate win after striking out two in an impressive 2.2 innings of no-hit, shutout baseball.
Brinkmann (1-2) allowed five hits, walked three and gave up four runs in four innings.
Shawn Joy struck out five in 6.1 strong innings before leaving the game in the seventh.
Offensively, SIU outhit UE, 14-13, with Lairson and Scott Elmendorf paving the way with three hits.
Lairson went 3-for-6 with a double, two RBI and a run scored, while Elmendorf finished at 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI.
Cademartori, Koski and Roberts followed with two hits apiece.
SIU returns to action Tuesday when it faces Missouri in a wood bat game at GCS Stadium (Sauget, Ill.). First pitch is at 6:30 p.m., CST.