April 6, 2008
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University (17-11) rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning en route to a 5-2 win over Wisconsin-Milwaukee (5-20) earlier today at Abe Martin Field. The Salukis, who swept the Panthers, extended their winning streak to a season-long four games.
It took some more late game heroics for SIU to sweep the series.
After winning back-to-back games on walk-off hits in the bottom of the ninth, SIU and UWM were tied heading into the Dawgs' at-bat in the eighth.
SIU held a two-run lead until back-to-back RBI-doubles by Jesse Hart and Nick Wichser tied the game up at 2-2 in the top of the eighth.
Mark Kelly then led off the bottom half of the inning with a double to left center. Pinch-hitter Bret Maugeri laid down a bunt single just out of the reach of Panther relief pitcher Adam Ferrell. Ferrell picked up the ball and later threw to first, but his throw scooted by first baseman Shawn Wozniak, allowing Kelly to score the go-ahead run on the error.
Chase Sanford, who pinch ran for Maugeri advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a one-out single by Dean Cademartori. Owen Mackedon kept the inning alive with a two-out walk before Chris Murphy knocked in Cademartori on a single to left, giving SIU a 5-2 lead.
Starting righthander David Kington worked 7.2 innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits. Kington also struck out seven and threw 105 pitches on the day.
Kington was relieved by lefthander Jimmy Cornell, who was credited with the win after getting SIU out of an eighth-inning jam when he got Wozniak to ground out to short. For Cornell, the win was the first in his Saluki career.
Tim Hoy (0-3) suffered the loss for UWM. Hoy gave up two hits, struck out one and allowed the go-ahead run in one inning.
SIU registered 11 hits on the day with the first three hitters in its lineup combining for seven. Murphy went 3-for-5 with a run scored and one RBI, while Scott Elmendorf and Adam Hills followed with two apiece. Maugeri, who missed the first two games of the series due to an injured wrist, extended his hitting streak to 13 games with his pinch-hit bunt single in the eighth.
SIU, now 9-1 at home on the season, clinched its second series sweep.
The Salukis return to action Monday when they host Murray State at 3 p.m., CST.