April 17, 2011
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois baseball team split its doubleheader with Missouri State on Sunday at Abe Martin Field.
The Salukis (13-22, 4-2 Missouri Valley Conference) won game one, 11-1, in seven innings and dropped game two, 5-4. Missouri State (21-13, 4-2) came back from a four-run deficit with five unanswered to beat Southern in game two and take the series, two-games to one.
"I'm proud of our kids and I thought they had a good day," interim head coach Ken Henderson said. "We didn't play well yesterday, but we came back and played with great effort today. We played hard all day long, but we just made a few mistakes down the stretch. I thought overall we played well, swung it well and pitched it well."
Junior outfielder Jordan Sivertsen had a monster day at the plate. He drove in eight runs in the two games, including a career-high six RBIs in the game one victory. Sivertsen was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, three walks and a grand slam Sunday.
"I had a rough day yesterday and at Illinois, so I had to come out after two bad games in a row and have a good one," Sivertsen said. "I was getting ahead in the count mostly. They were starting me out with curveballs and most of the time they got behind, so I was able to sit on fastballs the rest of the at-bat."
Freshman Jake Welch went 5-for-8 in the two games with one run scored and one driven in. He had the first three-hit game of his career in game two, going 3-for-4.
SIU scored 11 runs in game one, when it run-ruled Missouri State 11-1 in seven innings. All 11 runs that the Salukis scored came with two outs. Southern Illinois had 13 hits in the game and nine of them were with two outs.
Sophomore pitcher Cody Forsythe threw a complete game to start the doubleheader. He gave up seven hits and just one run while striking out five and walking one. It was Forsythe's second complete game of the season and improved his record to 4-3 on the year and 2-0 in Valley play.
SIU jumped on the Bears with three runs off of four hits in the first inning. Sivertsen plated a pair with his double to right-center and Nick Johnson brought him home with a single up the middle.
Sivertsen struck again with two outs in the second inning, hitting his first career grand slam on a 3-2 pitch. That gave SIU a 7-0 lead and Sivertsen was accountable for six of those runs.
Aaron Conway's sacrifice fly in the fifth finally got the Bears on the scoreboard. That would be the last run Forsythe would allow in the game.
SIU scored four unearned runs in the seventh to go up by 10 and run-rule the Bears.
Game two saw Southern Illinois go up 4-0 after five innings. Sivertsen drove in two of the Saluki runs with his one-hop double to the wall in left-center during the fifth inning.
However, Missouri State would come back to score five unanswered runs to take the lead. Travis McComack gave the Bears their first lead of the game with his sacrifice fly in the eighth.
MSU brought in its closer, Dan Kickham to throw the eighth. He walked back-to-back batters with one out, but got Blake Pinnon to ground into the inning-ending double play. Pinnon hammered his grounder, but it was right to McComack, who easily turned the double play.
Kickham then closed the Salukis out in the ninth to complete the comeback victory for Missouri State and record his eighth save of the season.
Blake Barber picked up the win for MSU in game two, improving to 5-2 on the year. SIU reliever Todd Eaton drew the loss to drop his record to 1-3.