April 20, 2007
By Jeff Honza
PEORIA, Ill. - Michael Christl allowed seven hits, tossed eight shutout innings and matched a season-high seven strikeouts to lead Bradley University (19-15, 3-7) to a 6-1 win over Southern Illinois (23-14, 4-6) earlier tonight in the series-opener at O'Brien Field.
Christl entered the game at 1-5 with a 8.14 ERA, but went the distance in a dominating effort tonight.
"We didn't pitch well enough, we made mistakes defensively and Christl kept us off-balance," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan.
SIU took a 1-0 lead on a one-out RBI-single by Mark Kelly in the first.
Then, costly mistakes struck the Dawgs once again.
Jordan Powell issued a leadoff walk to Justin Carr and committed an error on Ryan Eigsti's ensuing bunt. With runners at first and second, Colby Luttrell ripped a double down the right field line to score Carr.
Two hitters later, Jason Acevedo doubled home Eigsti and Luttrell on a double to left to give BU a 3-1 lead.
Michael Finigan's throwing error led to another BU run in the third.
The Braves then added two more runs in the seventh.
Pinch-hitter Pat Ryerson drew a leadoff walk out of the nine-hole. Brad Jones pinch-ran for Ryerson and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. Jones stole third and touched home on Paul Rice's single to center.
Ryan Curry kept the inning alive with a two-out single. Carr followed with a fly ball to shallow center. Saluki second baseman Tyler Lairson and center fielder Kevin Koski struggled to locate the ball, which landed in between them for a run-scoring double.
After that, Christl retired19 of the next 23 hitters he faced.
Powell (5-6) struck out four and gave up six runs on eight hits in 6.2 innings en route to his fourth-straight loss on the mound.
Offensively, SIU's seven hits were the second lowest total in a league game this year.
BU had 10 hits on the night, with Mike McMillan paving the way with three hits.
SIU lost its fifth game in a row. The Salukis also dropped six of their last seven in league play.
SIU wore maroon jerseys to honor the victims and victims' families involved in this week's shootings at Virginia Tech. Today was declared "a national day of mourning" for those tragic events.
The Salukis and Braves resume their series Saturday at 6 p.m., CST. Cody Adams will take the mound for SIU.