April 21, 2007
By Jeff Honza
PEORIA, Ill. -Cody Adams allowed only one run on four hits in seven sparkling innings to lead Southern Illinois University (24-14, 5-6) to a 2-1 win over Bradley (19-16, 3-8) earlier tonight at O'Brien Field.
Adams, who set the tone with one of his best Missouri Valley Conference starts, helped the Dawgs end a season long five-game losing streak.
Right-handers Adams and Collin Brennan squared off in an excellent pitcher's duel.
Both pitched shutout baseball and gave up two hits in the first five innings of the game. Also, only one baserunner made into scoring position in that span when Adam Hills reached on an error and stole second with two outs in the first.
Adams kept the Braves guessing with a sharp changeup, a potent slider and a nasty fastball that consistently ranged between 91 and 96 mph.
"I was really excited for this game," said Adams. "I didn't feel much pressure coming in. I just wanted to get ahead of hitters and keep them off-balance. I felt like I did that."
Adams struck out four, retired BU in order twice and did a great job of fielding his position.
Especially, in the fourth and fifth innings where BU had its leadoff man on with no outs.
Paul Rice singled to center to start the fourth, but he was cut down at second when Adams fielded Ryan Curry's ensuing bunt and made a risky throw to Saluki shortstop Tyler Lairson.
After Colby Luttrell reached on an error to begin the fifth, Adams started a big 1-6-3 double play to silence the threat.
Then, the majority of the offense for both teams came in the sixth.
Bret Maugeri rallied the Dawgs when he ripped Brennan's first offering for a double down the left field line. The hit was Maugeri's first since March 18.
Hills dug in and belted a double to right center to give the Salukis a 2-0 lead.
BU countered when Rice walked, went to third on Curry's double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Carr.
Ryan Eigsti kept the Braves' rally alive with a two-out infield single. Eigsti, who represented the tying run, stole second, but was left in scoring position after Adams got Luttrell to fly out to left.
Adams held the Braves scoreless once more in the seventh before giving way to submarine reliever Ian Reinhart.
Reinhart came on to face the top of BU's lineup in the eighth. He immediately forced Dan Brewer to ground out to short and struck out Rice for two quick outs. Shortly after Curry singled to right center, Carr hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Bryant George took over for Reinhart in the ninth and sat the Braves' down on six pitches to earn his team-high sixth save of the season.
"Tonight was a huge win for us," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "We had been struggling and it's nice to see our losing streak come to an end. I was proud of Cody and our bullpen. We also got the big hit on offense."
Adams, who recorded his second win in Valley play, improved to 9-2 on the year.
Brennan (1-5) went the distance, allowing four hits and two runs. He also struck out five in his first complete game of the year.
The Salukis and Braves wrap up their series Sunday at 1 p.m., CST. Left-hander Shawn Joy will take the mound.