April 11, 2006
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University (22-14) scored all but three of its runs with the help of a walk in an 8-5 win over Southeast Missouri State (12-18) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
SIU trailed, 2-0, after being no-hit in the first two innings, but drew four consecutive one-out walks against SEMO starter Phillip Riley, and as a result, plated three runs in the third.
Riley walked Bret Maugeri, Kevin Koski and Scott Elmendorf to load the bases with one away. A fourth walk, this time to Grant Gerrard, followed, and Maugeri scored. Koski then touched home on Erik Alvarez's sacrifice fly in foul territory, before Dean Cademartori's two-out single knocked in Elmendorf to give the Salukis a 3-2 edge.
Gerrard drew another one-out walk in the fourth and later scored on Alvarez's single to left, as SIU pushed its lead to 4-2.
SIU led by that margin until the eighth inning, where the Saluki bats finally came alive.
After being quieted to just two hits through the first seven innings of the game, SIU used four hits to rally for four runs in the eighth.
Cademartori led things off with a single through the left side and went to second on a walk by Matt Brewer. Nathan Emrick, who pinch-hit for designated hitter Mark Kelly laid down a nice bunt single just inside the third base line and went all the way to third after Redhawk reliever Matt Carter overthrew first base. Cademartori and Brewer also came around to score on the play, before Maugeri doubled down the left field line to score Emrick. Elmendorf's two-out double to center drove in Maugeri to cap the rally and give the Dawgs an 8-2 lead.
After two of SIU's weekend starters, including Tyler Norrick and Jordan Powell, worked one inning apiece, left-hander Adam Snyder (4-1) took over to earn his fourth win after giving up five hits and one run to go along with a strikeout in three frames.
"I liked the way we pitched. We had several guys step up today," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan.
SIU was out-hit, 13-6, but received plenty of help from SEMO pitching, which struggled to eight walks, including six by Riley.
Defensively, the Salukis committed only one error. Part of SIU's defensive success came from Elmendorf who moved from his traditional spot at third base to make just his second start of the season at short.
Elmendorf, who last started at shortstop in SIU's season-opening series at Florida Atlantic (Feb. 10-12), went errorless with two putouts and three assists. He also had a hand in both of the Dawgs' double plays.
"Our infield defense was much better and I was happy with the way we capitalized on SEMO's mistakes," said Callahan.
SIU, who improved to 15-6 at home this year, has won four games in a row.
SIU returns to Missouri Valley Conference action this weekend. The Salukis wrap up a seven-game homestand when they host Creighton in a three-game series, beginning Friday at 1 p.m., CST.