Sam Coonrod struck out nine in 8.0 scoreless innings.
April 11, 2014
By Scott Gierman
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois was held hitless through nine innings yet managed to steal a 2-1 win from Indiana State in 13 innings Friday night at Itchy Jones Stadium. The Salukis (18-15, 3-4) were down to their final strike in the 13th before rallying for two runs for their third walk-off win of the season. It broke a streak of seven-straight losses against the Sycamores (21-10, 5-5 MVC).
“This was an unbelievably frustrating game,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “I don’t know how in the hell we won it, but we did.”
“I was put in that same position earlier in the year against Purdue,” Rosthenhausler said. “I just told myself, go in there with confidence. I stayed confident throughout the whole game. I was seeing the ball well. He threw me a fastball right down the middle, and I went opposite field.”
Ryan Keaffaber pitched the 12th for the Sycamores and took the loss. He began the inning protecting a 1-0 ISU lead and looking for his first win after he had already thrown three scoreless innings, allowing only an infield single, to keep the game scoreless through 12 innings.
Indiana State starter David Stagg pitched nine hitless innings, walked three and struck out eight. He also hit a batter as he faced three more than the minimum.
“I think we helped him out some,” Henderson said. “He stays away, but we tried to pull it and tried to do too much. We didn’t stay inside balls and hit them where they were pitched. He’s good. He’s a Friday guy. He has good numbers, and he can pitch, but I don’t think we had a very good approach.”
Southern Illinois struck out 11 times in the game and did not advance a runner to second base until the 13th inning.
“I thought our strike zone awareness was terrible,” Henderson said. “We got ourselves out on a lot on pitches we shouldn’t have swung at. I just didn’t feel like we had very good approaches.”
Sam Coonrod was nearly as dominant for the Salukis. In the longest outing of his career, the junior tossed eight scoreless innings and held ISU to three hits while striking out nine.
“I knew I could do it, but I just hadn’t done it yet this year,” Coonrod of his longest outing. “I went six (innings) against Purdue, but I knew I had more in the tank.”
Coonrod did not allow a runner past second base until the eighth inning. In the eighth, he issued two walks and a wild pitch but got out of the inning with two men in scoring position with a flyout off the bat of cleanup hitter Mike Fitzgerald.
“He was as composed as he’s been in a long time,” Henderson said of Coonrod. “He was in command of himself and his own motions. I think that’s why he pounded the zone better. He was just under control much better than he has been.”
Kyle Pauly relieved Coonrod and allowed only two hits in three scoreless innings.
The Sycamores scored their only run in the top of the 13th off SIU reliever Kyle Pruemer. After throwing a scoreless 11th, Pruemer loaded the bases with one out in the 13th with a pair of walks and a single. Derek Hannahs then hit a hard ground ball to the left side of the infield. Will Farmer made a diving stop but his only play was at first base. That scored Jeff Zahn with the potential winning run.
SIU turned to Derek Fogel for the final out of the 13th. He threw one pitch, induced a flyout from Landon Curry and ended up with his first career win. The Saluki senior had left six games in his career in line for the win before finally taking one home Friday night.
Southern Illinois has now played 17 one-run games and eight extra inning games, both of which are the most in the nation. No team in the nation has more than SIU’s 10 one-run wins.
On Saturday the Salukis will try for their first conference series win of the season. Saluki starter Todd Eaton will throw the first pitch at 2 p.m.