Late surge pushes Evansville past SIU in 5-4 loss

    Derek Fogel allowed two earned runs in six-plus innings of work and took a no-decision.

    Derek Fogel allowed two earned runs in six-plus innings of work and took a no-decision.
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    April 6, 2013

    Box Score

    EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Southern Illinois allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lose 5-4 Saturday afternoon at Braun Stadium. The Salukis (13-16, 0-5 MVC) blew three different leads and dropped their second straight to the Purple Aces (14-17, 5-3 MVC).

    “Wins come down to players making plays and executing,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said, “and we just don’t make plays, and we don’t execute when it counts.”

    Evansville’s Nick Hathcoat tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth when he hit a ground ball that took an unplayable hop past SIU second baseman Jake Welch and scored pinch runner Jake Mahon from second base. After another ground ball single up the middle, Kevin Kaczmarski doubled off reliever Tyler Dray to score Hathcoat and give UE a 5-4 advantage.

    Lee Weld was charged with both of the runs in the eighth after he pitched a scoreless seventh inning. He took the loss to fall to 2-2 on the season.

    “Lee Weld did a good job,” Henderson said. “They hit balls on the ground. He got a bad hop on a ball up the middle, but that’s what happens when you put balls in play.”

    Southern Illinois had one last chance in the ninth. With one out, Jake Welch drew a walk. Pinch hitter Brock Harding then reached on a ground ball up the middle to put the go-ahead run on base, but Matt Jones grounded into a double play to end the game.

    SIU starter Derek Fogel allowed three runs, two of them earned, off eight hits in six innings of work. After allowing two runs off three hits in the first inning, the lefty allowed just one more run, which was unearned, over the next five innings. He left in line for the win.



    “That first inning or two, he wasn’t very sharp,” Henderson said, “but he settled down and gave us an opportunity. Once again a starter gave us a lead, but we just couldn’t hold it.”

    Southern Illinois was holding onto a 4-3 lead when Fogel departed after the first two Evansville batters reached to start the seventh inning. Weld replaced Fogel and loaded the bases with an intentional walk following a sacrifice bunt.

    However, the Aces could not get a run home as third baseman Cody Daily made a tremendous diving stop and threw out the runner at the plate. Then pinch hitter John Day hit a potential bases-clearing fly ball to left field, but Wes Neece made a full-extension diving catch to end the inning, which at the time saved the game for SIU.

    Neece was the offensive star in the early innings. He gave SIU a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning with his first home run of the season. It came after he just missed a home run with an RBI double off the wall in his first at-bat. His double tied the game at 2-2 in the second inning.

    SIU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with Ryan Casillas’ two-out RBI single. The inning ended with runners at the corners.

    Evansville countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-1 advantage. The Aces had a chance for even more, but committed two base running mistakes in the inning that resulted in outs at third base.

    With runners at the corners in the top of the sixth, Cody Daily broke a 3-3 tie with a line single up the middle to score Ryan Casillas from third base and give SIU a 4-3 lead. However, Neece followed by grounding into a double play, and the Salukis couldn’t extend the lead any further. 

    “The difference in the game is when they had opportunities they put the ball in play, and we just struck out or popped up in crucial situations,” Henderson said. “We’re swinging it better, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t take advantage of your opportunities.”