April 21, 2006
By Jeff Honza
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Missouri State University (20-14, 6-4) scored six runs with two outs and overcame two four-run deficits to beat Southern Illinois (25-16, 5-5), 10-6, earlier today at Hammons Field.
SIU didn't pitch well with a lead and didn't pitch well in two-out situations, and as a result, let a pair of four-run leads slip away.
The Salukis got on the board first with four runs in the second shortly after a sudden twist of events.
MSU ace right-hander Brett Sinkbeil issued back-to-back walks to give SIU runners at first and second with one out, but removed himself from the game after he got hurt throwing over to first.
Matt Frevert replaced the injured Sinkbeil and gave up three-straight hits, including a RBI-double to Bret Maugeri, a two-RBI single to Kevin Koski and a run-scoring base hit to Scott Elmendorf, as the Dawgs pulled ahead, 4-0.
MSU answered with one tally in the bottom of the second, but fell behind 5-1 in the third, where Erik Alvarez reached on an error and scored with the help of back-to-back one-out hits by Matt Brewer and Mark Kelly.
The Bears kept chipping away at SIU, adding two more tallies in the third and another in the fourth. It was then in the fifth, where MSU took its first lead of the game on a two-out, two-RBI double by Jacob Hilgendorf.
Down, 6-5, Hunter Harrigan led off with a home run to quickly tie the game in the sixth. The homer marked Harrigan's third of the season and first since Feb. 24.
MSU shook off Harrigan's smash with a long ball of its own in the sixth when Nolan Keane slugged a two-out, two-run homer off the roof of the Bears' indoor hitting facility that sits outside the right field wall.
MSU finished off the Dawgs for good in the seventh, where two more runs came home after the Bears loaded the bases with one out. Tim Rafferty and Hilgendorf each singled and scored to polish off the 10-6 win.
SIU had plenty of chances to catch MSU down the stretch, but ended up stranding five baserunners in the eighth and ninth innings. The Salukis came up empty after loading the bases with one out in the eighth and left runners on first and second in the ninth.
SIU stranded a total of 12 baserunners on the day, seven of which were in scoring position.
MSU, who outhit SIU, 12-9, scored in six-straight innings following a scoreless first. The Bears also plated two runs in an inning four times.
The bottom-third of MSU's lineup, consisting of Hilgendorf, Tanner Mattson and Jerrod White accounted for five hits, three runs and three RBI. Hilgendorf (.213), Mattson (.237) and White (.125) were hitting no better than .237 entering the day.
Hilgendorf, along with Matt Lawson, went 3-for-4 to top the Bears.
Pitching wise, Frevert (4-1) earned his fourth win of the season after allowing seven hits and four runs, while striking out five and walking two in 5.2 innings.
Offensively, SIU was led by freshmen Maugeri and Elmendorf, who each had two hits and one RBI.
Snyder fell to 5-2 on the year after scattering five hits and allowing four runs in 1.2 innings.
Right-hander Jordan Powell made his team-high 11th start, but was relieved by Snyder in the fifth. Powell allowed seven hits and six runs through 4.2 innings of work. He also struck out two and walked one.
The Salukis and Bears resume their series tomorrow at 7 p.m., CST. Saturday's game will be televised live by Mediacom on Springfield's local cable channel 14. Left-hander Tyler Norrick will take the mound for SIU.