April 26, 2006
By Jeff Honza
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Southern Illinois University (28-16) capitalized on four errors to beat Saint Louis (20-20), 5-3, earlier tonight in a wood bat game at GSC Stadium.
SIU, who has heated up to win 10 of its last 12 games, remained undefeated at 4-0 in wood bat games against SLU.
The Salukis saw an early two-run lead disappear, left a dozen runners on base, came up empty with the bases loaded once and stranded a runner on third three times, but none of that mattered in the end, as the Billiken defense merely fell to pieces.
A Billiken error helped SIU push an unearned run across in the second, before the Salukis tacked on another run with the help of three-straight hits in the third.
The top half of the Billiken lineup went to work in the fifth, which saw two-through-four hitters Gilbert Marlowe, Johnny Sweeney and Greg Rodgers each hit safely and score to get SLU a 3-2 lead, its first of the game.
Moments after the Salukis came up empty with the bases loaded in the fifth, the wheels came off for the Billikens.
Hunter Harrigan singled to left and went to second on a Nathan Emrick walk with one out in the sixth. Kevin Koski came up next and hit into a fielder's choice, but SLU second baseman Marlowe's throw went off the helmet of Emrick and sailed out of play, allowing Harrigan to score.
A walk and a hit batsman gave SIU runners at first and second with one out in the seventh, before Bret Maugeri hit a soft grounder to second. Marlowe fielded the ball, but overthrew Bill Musselman on what would have been a bang-bang play at first. As a result, Maugeri was awarded a single, went to second on the error and Erik Alvarez scored.
Freshman Cody Adams was credited with the win after striking out two in one scoreless inning of relief. He is now 4-2 on the year.
Dusty Baker closed out a wild ninth inning to earn his team-high sixth save.
The Billikens had runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth. After Sweeney struck out, Rodgers' pop up fell safely into shallow left center, but Saluki shortstop Scott Elmendorf picked up the ball and threw out Ryan Crespi at third. The bizarre play was ruled fielder's choice, 6-1.
Offensively, the Dawgs had nine hits, six of which came from Elmendorf (2), Maugeri (2) and Harrigan (2).
SIU, who played its final midweek game of the regular-season tonight, returns to Missouri Valley Conference action at Northern Iowa this weekend. The Salukis and Panthers start a three-game series on Friday at 6:30 p.m., CST