Cody Forsythe allowed two runs off seven hits in nine innings of work.
April 5, 2013
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Southern Illinois’ four-game winning streak ended with a 3-2 loss to Evansville in the 10th inning Friday night at Braun Stadium. For the Salukis (13-15, 0-4 MVC), it was their first loss in Evansville since 2007, breaking a streak of seven straight road wins against the Purple Aces (13-17, 4-3 MVC).
UE’s Jason Hockemeyer delivered the walk-off hit with two outs and runners at the corners. It was a ground ball hit through the left side of the infield after shortstop Ryan Rosthenhausler ran to second base with the runner from first base in motion.
The run was set up by a couple costly miscues in what had been a tight, well-played game. David Patton scored the winning run after reaching on a two-base error with one out. Patton moved to third when reliever Aaron Snyder threw a wild pitch while intentionally walking Kevin Kaczmarski.
“We didn’t execute on offense tonight, and we fell apart on defense in the 10th inning," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. "Every mistake is magnified because we can’t get a hit when we have opportunities. We had ample opportunities to not make that a tie ball game after nine innings.”
The loss dropped Aaron Snyder’s record to 2-4 on the season. Evansville’s closer Jake Naumann pitched a scoreless top half of the 10th to earn his first win of the season.
The Salukis advanced a runner to second base in their half of the 10th after Jake Welch hit a one-out single, but he was stranded there as the inning ended. Southern Illinois had numerous other opportunities to pull away from the Aces, but could not come through with the big hit.
Southern took a 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh. With runners at second and third, Rosthenhausler hit a shallow fly to center field that was just deep enough to score Cody Daily and a break the 1-1 tie. Kevin Kaczmarski made a sliding catch on the play. Both of SIU’s runs scored on sacrifice flies with two men in scoring position.
Evansville quickly responded to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Shain Showers grounded a single through the left side of the infield to score Kyle Pollack from second base.
Southern appeared poised for a big first inning as the first three batters of the game reached to load the bases. Jake Welch started the game with a double and finished with three hits. Austin Montgomery’s sacrifice fly gave SIU a 1-0 lead. Ryan Casillas was then hit by a pitch to reload the bases, but the inning ended with a double play. SIU hit into a season-high three double plays in the game.
“Everyone remembers the play in the 10th inning,” Henderson said, “but to me, the game was decided in the first three or four innings. The first five hitters of the game were probably the five best ABs we’ve put together all year long. Then (Evansville) got a rollover double play ball to get out of it. If we could get two or three runs there, then it’s a completely different ball game.”
Cody Forsythe had another tremendous performance on the mound for the Salukis. He allowed two runs off seven hits in nine innings of work but took home his fifth straight no-decision. He has posted a 2.18 ERA during that stretch.
“Cody was outstanding, and he deserves better,” Henderson said. I know he’s a team guy and just wants to win the game, but if a guy continues to throw that well and do that great a job, he deserves to be rewarded, and our offense has to find a way to reward him in that situation.”
Forsythe struck out four Friday night and did not issue a walk. With the effort, he moved to within three innings of becoming the third pitcher in school history to throw 300 career innings.
Henderson said he was encouraged by the effort of his hitters although he would like to see it translate to production in crucial situations.
“We had a lot of better ABs today,” he said. “I thought we hit the ball better than we have in a long time, but when it counts – we had the bases loaded with no outs and the bases loaded with one out – we can’t get a base hit.”
Southern Illinois has now played extra innings in five of its last 11 games. The Salukis are 1-4 in those extra-inning affairs.