Rennie Troggio led the team with three hits and two runs. He also drove in a run.
April 12, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Missouri State scored six runs in the final three innings to defeat Southern Illinois 7-3 Friday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. The loss snapped a five-game home winning streak for SIU (16-17, 1-6 MVC).
Missouri State (20-9, 5-2 MVC) erased the Salukis’ 2-1 lead with a four-run seventh inning. Conor Smith began the inning with a double to left field off SIU starter Cody Forsythe and was nearly stranded at third base with SIU’s lead still in tact. However, Joey Hawkins hit a soft, two-out, two-strike flare behind first base that dropped in just to the left of the foul line for a double, tying the game at 2-2.
“I think our whole demeanor changed when that happened,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said of the game-tying hit. “We had to shut them down. We had to stop the bleeding right there.”
From there, things quickly fell apart for Southern Illinois as the next four batters reached in succession with an infield single, a triple, a bloop single and a walk that finally knocked Forsythe out of the game with the Salukis trailing 5-2.
SIU scratched across a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut it to 5-3 when Rennie Troggio’s third hit of the day plated Ryan Rosthenhausler, but the Bears added a single run in the eighth and another in the ninth to deflate the Salukis and hand Forsythe his second loss of the season.
“You’re going to face adversity in baseball,” Henderson said. “Yeah, it’s frustrating, it’s demoralizing, but we let that little flare lead to five more runs.”
Forsythe was charged with a season-high five runs and nine hits in sixth and two-thirds of an inning.
Southern’s offense scored three against first-team All-American Nick Petree, who entered the game with a 0.73 ERA. The three runs and eight hits are the most he has allowed in a game this season, but the junior still earned the win to improve his record to 5-1.
“I thought we did a great job on offense,” Henderson said. “That is one of the best pitchers in the country, but we scored enough runs to win that game. I thought we had good approaches and good ABs.”
After each team plated a run in the first inning, fans were treated to the pitcher’s duel that was expected through the middle innings. Missouri State managed just three singles against Forsythe from the second through the sixth innings.
Following Ryan Casillas’s RBI single to knot the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning, Petree settled in to retire 11 in a row and 13 of the next 14 batters.
With the game still knotted at 1-1 in the sixth, SIU finally broke through when Luke Mottashed stepped to the plate with two on and two out and singled up the middle to score Troggio, giving the Salukis a 2-1 advantage. Mottashed advanced to second base on the throw to the plate, giving SIU two men in scoring position and a chance for the knockout blow against Petree, but a groundout ended the inning.
“Offensively I thought we had good ABs and scored enough runs,” Henderson said. “On Friday to get three runs off a guy like that, you should be right there in the game, and we were.”