Austin Montgomery drove in three of SIU's 10 runs.
April 10, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois survived a ninth inning scare and hung on for a 10-9 win over Austin Peay Wednesday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. With the win, the Salukis have won three in a row and seven of their last nine to climb back to .500.
SIU (16-16) held a 10-6 lead over the Governors (25-9) with two outs and the bases empty in the ninth inning before the next five batters reached base to put the potential go-ahead run on base. Closer Todd Eaton began the inning with two groundouts then allowed a single to Brett Carlson and an RBI double to Rolando Gautier to cut the lead to 10-7.
The next two batters reached on run-scoring errors after SIU was twice one strike away from a victory. Following a walk that put two runners on, the Salukis finally escaped when Cody Daily fielded a ground ball at third base and stepped on the bag for a game-ending force out.
“We played eight good innings of baseball,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “We just need to working on finishing, but we got the last out. It’s a W, and we’ll take it.”
The Governors had cut the lead to 9-6 in the top of the eighth with Michael Davis’ two-run homer over the left field wall, but the Salukis extended the lead to 10-6 in the bottom of the eighth on Austin Montgomery’s RBI single. Montgomery finished with three hits and three RBI.
Southern initially took command of the game in the sixth inning with a five-run rally, which broke a 4-4 tie. The Dawgs were helped by three walks, two errors and a hit batsman in the inning. With the bases loaded, Rennie Troggio hit a ground ball to second base, but the Governors misplayed a potential double play, allowing two runs to score and giving SIU a 6-4 lead. Following another error, Montgomery hit a two-run single and then scored on Luke Mottashed’s RBI single to extend the lead to 10-4.
The big sixth inning gave Matt Murphy his third win of the season. He entered the game to start the fourth in a 4-4 tie and threw three perfect innings, the last of which coming in the top of the sixth.
“Murphy did another great job,” Henderson said. “Both teams were in the bullpen in the fourth inning, then for him to throw up some zeroes and allow us to take the lead, I thought that was huge.”
Austin Peay scored in each of the first three innings to built a 4-1 lead. Southern Illinois responded with three runs in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4-4. In total, SIU scored eight unanswered runs from the bottom of the third through the end of the sixth inning to overcome that early 4-1 deficit.
Saluki Freshman Anthony Shimkus made his first start on the mound after eight relief appearances to start his career. He allowed four runs off five hits against a potent Austin Peay lineup and left after three innings with the game tied at 4-4. It was his longest outing of the year.
“To be honest, to get three innings out of Shimmy and have him leave with the ballgame tied in his first start, we’ll accept that,” Henderson said.
Southern Illinois has now scored 48 runs in its last three games, which matches the highest offensive output in a three-game stretch in school history. The Salukis will try to sustain that firepower against the Missouri Valley Conference’s lowest ERA when Missouri State comes to town for a crucial three-game series starting Friday.