April 14, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - No. 11 Wichita State University (28-8, 8-2) built a four-run lead in the first inning and never turned back in a 10-7 win over Southern Illinois (23-10, 4-3) earlier today at a soggy and cold Abe Martin Field.
SIU and WSU were initially scheduled to play a doubleheader, but inclement weather forced the teams to play a single nine-inning game.
"I was pleased with our offensive output. We just didn't get a quality start on the mound and let the game get away from us," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan.
With one away in the first, Andy Dirks hit what seemed to be a routine fly ball to left, but Dean Cademartori mis-played the ball, which landed safely for a double.
Six pitches later, the Shockers had a 4-0 lead after Matt Brown ripped Jordan Powell's first offering to right, Conor Gillaspie drew a four-pitch walk and Danny Jackson sent a first-pitch three-run homer over the left field wall.
SIU, after coming away with a run in the first, cut the Shocker lead to 4-3 in the third.
Both teams then plated three runs apiece in a wild fourth.
Tyler Weber doubled and scored with the help of back-to-back hits by Tyler Hill and Dusty Coleman. Damon Sublett struck out and both Hill and Coleman attempted to steal.
Saluki catcher Mark Kelly threw to third, where Elmendorf appeared to tag out Hill, but Hill was ruled safe, taking away what would have been a double play for the Dawgs.
SIU battled right back though, plating three runs on five-straight one-out hits to pull to within a run for the second time.
Lairson, Kevin Koski and Roberts all singled and scored to make it a 7-6 game.
Two innings later, WSU scored three more runs with the help of two walks, a couple hits, a balk and an error.
Hill led off the sixth with a walk, went to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a double by Sublett. Dirks reached on an ensuing error by Michael Finigan and a balk came after that.
With runners on first and second and one out, Brown walked to load the bases. Jackson greeted Saluki reliever Brad Lawrence with a single down the left field line to knock in Sublett and Dirks, giving the Shockers a 10-6 advantage.
After a run came home early in the seventh, SIU had another chance to catch WSU when it had the bases loaded with one out. But, Shocker closer Noah Krol got Roberts to hit into a 1-6-3 inning-ending double play.
Krol forced a Saluki to hit into a double play in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings en route to his eighth save.
Anthony Capra (3-0) was credited with the win in relief after striking out two and allowing five hits in 3.1 innings.
He took over for WSU starter Travis Banwart, who exited the game in the fourth after giving up 10 hits and six earned runs in 3.1 frames.
Powell suffered his third consecutive loss, and as a result, fell to 5-5 on the year. He struck out two, gave up eight hits and allowed seven earned runs in 3.1 innings.
Offensively, SIU outthit WSU, 15-12.
Roberts (3), Adam Hills (2), Kelly (2), Cademartori (2) and Elmendorf (2) combined for 11 of the hits at the top of SIU's order. Hills hitting streak now stands at 17 games.
Sublett, Dirks and Jackson led the Shockers with two hits each.
SIU had quite a scare in the seventh inning when Koski crashed into the center field wall after making a spectacular catch. Koski was helped off the field, but came to bat in the bottom half of that inning. He was then replaced by Bret Maugeri in the eighth.
SIU and WSU conclude their series with a noon doubleheader Sunday.