Salukis strand 14 in 9-1 loss to Creighton

    Ryan Rosthenhausler drove in SIU's only run of the game.

    Ryan Rosthenhausler drove in SIU's only run of the game.
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    April 21, 2013

    Box Score

    OMAHA, Neb. - Southern Illinois stranded 14 runners in a 9-1 loss to Creighton Sunday evening at TD Ameritrade Park. With the loss, the Salukis (18-21, 2-10 MVC) were swept by Creighton (22-9, 8-4 MVC) for the first time since 2009.

    In the three-game series, the Salukis left 29 runners on base, and 25 of those runners came in the last two games. Nine of the stranded runners in Sunday's game were left in scoring position.

    "That's the story of the game and the story of the weekend," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. "When (Creighton) had their opportunities to score, they had quality ABs, and they got their runs in. They did whatever they had to do to get them in, and we didn't."

    Creighton attacked the Salukis for four runs in the first inning and led the rest of the way. The Jays Brad McKewon led off the inning with a double. After a sacrifice bunt, Jake Peter and Mike Gerber hit back-to-back triples to give the Jays a 2-0 lead. Reagan Fowler then hit a ground ball to second base, and Jake Welch's throw home reached the plate a split second before Gerber slid in safely. After a single, a couple of walks forced in Fowler from third to cap the four-run inning and give the Jays a 4-0 lead.

    SIU starter Sam Coonrod took the loss in the shortest outing of his career. The sophomore could not finish the second inning. After allowing four runs in the first inning, he left with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning. Reliever Aaron Snyder was able to escape the inning with no further damage.

    "Sam couldn't get his slider over, so he had to rely on his fastball," Henderson said. "Even though it's a good fastball, good hitters know it's coming. He was leaving it up in the zone, and he just couldn't hit spots. You're not going to have a lot of success at this level if you can't do that."



    Southern got on the board in the top of the fourth when Ryan Rosthenhausler singled up the middle with the bases loaded. That cut the lead to 4-1 and knocked CU starter Austin Groth out of the game. With the top of the order due against reliever Nick Highberg, SIU was in a position to get back in the game, but couldn't close the gap as the inning ended with the bases loaded.

    "We could've made it a 4-2 or 4-3 game right there, and we had the right guys up to do," Henderson said. "We were feeling pretty good about that. We just couldn't get that big hit."

    Highberg stayed in for three and a third innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win of the season.

    Creighton slowly bled the Salukis for a single run in each of the middle innings to extend the lead to 7-1. The Jays added a pair of runs in the seventh to make it a 9-1 game.

    Southern's bullpen threw six and a third innings and combined to allow five runs, four of them earned, off six hits.

    "I thought they did an adequate job," Henderson said of the SIU relievers. "It got away from us late, but to ask them to come in in the second inning and basically throw up all zeros is a tough chore. I thought they did a decent job."

    SIU will be back home on Tuesday against Southeast Missouri State with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. at Abe Martin Field.