April 23, 2008
By Jeff Honza
O'FALLON, Mo. - Mark Kelly's one-out single plated the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning to lead Southern Illinois University (21-17) to a 2-1 win over No. 4 Missouri (29-11) earlier tonight in a wood bat game at T.R. Hughes Stadium.
The game was tied 1-1 when Scott Elmendorf singled to spark SIU's one-out rally in the eighth. Adam Hills followed with a base knock and Elmendorf moved to second. Kelly then stepped in and delivered his 33rd RBI of the year on a ground single up the middle.
MU had several opportunities to break the game open, but came away empty after loading the bases in each of the fifth and sixth innings. The Tigers also had a runner on third with one out in the eighth, but couldn't get him in after Ian Reinhart caught pinch-hitter Trevor Coleman looking on strikes to end the inning.
SIU got on the board first when Tyler Bullock launched his team-high sixth home run to start the second. Bullock pulled ahead 1-0 in the count before taking MU starting righthander Ian Berger's second offering over the wall in right center.
MU had baserunners in the second, third and fourth innings, but came away empty in each of those tries against Saluki righthander Adam Curynski. Curynski was sharp in his first career start, tossing three innings of two-hit, shutout baseball.
However, Curynski was relieved by freshman lefthander Nick Rice in the fourth.
Rice worked a scoreless fourth, but committed a huge error that led to the tying run in the fifth. After giving up a leadoff single to Steve Gray, Rice attempted to pick off Gray at first. His wild throw got by Hills and Gray went to third. Gray later touched home on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Mach to tie the game at 1-1.
Bryant George came on in the ninth and nailed down his team-high fourth save of the season.
Ryan Allen (1-2) suffered the loss for MU. Allen gave up three hits, struck out three and allowed the decisive run in 1.1 innings of relief.
Offensively, SIU had eight hits with Hills and Kelly adding two apiece.
SIU beat a nationally-ranked opponent for the second time this season. Tonight's win also marked the Salukis' third-straight against MU. Also, SIU improved to 5-1 all-time under head coach Dan Callahan.
SIU returns to Missouri Valley Conference action when it visits first-place Northern Iowa for a three-game series, beginning Friday.