Randy Hoelscher netted his first career victory Sunday
April 4, 2010
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois baseball team scored nine runs in the first four innings to carry them to a 9-3 win over Bradley on Sunday to complete the series sweep of the Braves at Abe Martin Field.
Left-handed pitcher Randy Hoelscher gave up just two runs in six innings of work, where he did not walk a batter for the second start in a row. He earned his first career victory (1-2) as he led SIU to its first series sweep on the year.
"I'd say this was my best outing of the year so far and I've tried to get stronger with every outing," Hoelscher said. "I scattered the hits well and got double plays when I needed to. I have a great defense behind me and they teach pitch to contact, and that's exactly what I did."
The Salukis have now won five-straight games and their record moves up to an even to 14-14 on the year and 4-2 in Missouri Valley Conference. Bradley falls to 6-16 and 0-6 in the MVC.
"The thing I like is we came out aggressive early today," head coach Dan Callahan said. "Sometimes I think teams can get complacent when they've won the first two games of the series and I never sensed that we were that way at all. I thought we played with intensity throughout the game today and it started in the very first inning."
SIU's nine runs through the first four innings were more runs than the Dawgs scored in all of the Creighton series one week ago.
Bradley starter Jacob Booden came into the game with the lowest ERA of any starter in the league, but got roughed up by the Salukis right from the get-go. He fell to 3-1 on the year with the loss.
Freshman designated hitter Brock Harding went 4-for-4 at the plate with a double and he and drove in two of SIU's nine runs. Catcher Tyler Bullock had three RBIs in a light day of work for him (only played three innings) and Blake Pinnon added three hits and drove in one run.
Brave first baseman Phil Kaiser also went a perfect 4-for-4 on the day and Bradley finished the game with 15 hits. Southern Illinois had 17 hits Sunday.
Booden came into the game having only allowed five runs in 27.0 innings pitched, but SIU jumped on him right away and scored seven runs in the first two innings that were all charged to him. He was pulled in the second inning with just one out and two runners on.
Bullock drove in three of those runs with an RBI single to left in the first and a two-RBI single up the middle in the second. Harding accounted for two more of the runs with RBIs in the first and second innings.
Southern Illinois batted around the order in both the first and second innings.
Bradley got one run back in the top of the third when nine-hole hitter David Compitello hit a solo home run that snuck inside the left-field foul pole.
However, Pinnon got the run back in the third with an RBI single that scored Murphy from second. The Salukis had 11 hits through three innings and after scoring yet another run in the fourth, led 9-1.
The Braves added runs in the fifth and seventh to end the game with the final score of 9-3.
SIU's five consecutive wins are the most since the 2008 season.