Baseball muscles its way to victory

    Randy Hoelscher

    Randy Hoelscher
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    April 11, 2010

    By Jason Clay
    www.SIUSalukis.com

    Box Score

    WICHITA, Kan. - The Southern Illinois baseball team hit three home runs and had a solid day on the mound to beat Wichita State, 9-5, Sunday at Eck Stadium.

    The Salukis came back strong to win on Sunday after losing the first two games of the series by the combined score of 18-3. SIU's record now stands at 16-16 overall and 5-4 in the Missouri Valley Conference. WSU falls to 21-10 and 7-2 with the loss that snaps its six-game winning streak.

    "Any time you get a win or two in Wichita, you got to be happy," head coach Dan Callahan said. "It was a fun win and our guys will enjoy this. The bus ride home will be a little better now and that's what I told the team before the game."

    Junior left-handed pitcher Randy Hoelscher (2-2) picked up his second straight win. He threw five innings and retired 11-straight batters at one point. He finished with four strikeouts against one walk and gave up six hits, but only two after the first inning.

    "I just keep trying to get better with every start and today was that day," Hoelscher said. "I felt confident with all three of my pitches. I was in the zone, got ahead of batters and worked quickly and was just having fun out there."

    Shocker reliever Grant Muncrief (0-2) got the loss, as Chris Serritella's two-RBI double in the sixth put SIU ahead for good.

    Serritella also had a three-run homer in the fifth and finished the day going 2-for-4 with five RBIs. Sophomore Jordan Sivertsen and freshman Austin Montgomery both padded on solo home late in the game to give the Salukis some insurance runs. Montgomery had a game-high three hits.

    Freshman Lee Weld and senior Bryant George combined to throw four scoreless innings to secure the Saluki win. Weld threw three of the last four innings and had five strikeouts. Geroge struck out two in the ninth and was clocked as high as 98 mph on the radar gun while Weld hit a high of 96.

     

     

    For the third-straight day, Wichita State had a big first inning. Bret Bascue's double down the right-field line scored two runs and the Shockers added an unearned run on two Saluki errors that occurred on the same play.

    The Saluki fielding mishap and four WSU hits in the first inning didn't faze Hoelscher, who went on to retire 11-straight hitters.

    Tony Lepore's sacrifice fly that scored Michael Stalter in the fourth finally got SIU on the scoreboard, but SIU missed a prime opportunity to get more. The Salukis had the bases loaded with one out, but only produced the one run.

    Southern Illinois continued to rally behind Hoelscher and took its first lead of the series in the fifth on Serritella's three-run opposite field homer in the fifth. Serritella had just two hits in his first eight at-bats in the series before that plate appearance.

    The Shockers came back to regain the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run home run to center from Ryan Jones.

    The game continued to swing and Serritella put SIU back on top with a two-run double off the top of the wall in left-center. Stalter followed with a sacrifice fly that scored Blake Pinnon and SIU gave Hoelscher the 7-5 lead as he exited in the sixth.

    Weld pitched three great innings of scoreless relief, where he struck out five of the 12 batters he faced.

    Sivertsen gave the Salukis an 8-5 lead in the top of the eighth with a leadoff, solo home run. Montgomery followed suit in the ninth with a one out solo bomb to push the lead up to four. That was the first career home run for the Marion, Ill. product.

    George came in on the mound in the ninth. He hit the first two batters he faced, which created a lot of commotion and led to both teams being warned by the umpire. George regrouped, struck out the next two and got the third to ground out to end the game.

    SIU