Shockers slosh past Salukis in rainy 8-4 game

    Shortstop Ryan Rosthenhausler starts a first-inning double play.

    Shortstop Ryan Rosthenhausler starts a first-inning double play.
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    April 27, 2013

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    CARBONDALE, Ill. - After overcoming an early three-run deficit, Southen Illinois dropped the second game of its series with Wichita State, 8-4, on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. The Shockers (25-20, 10-4) scored three runs in the top of the ninth to pull away in what had been a one-run deficit for the Salukis (20-22, 3-11 MVC).

    "I thought we battled extremely hard and battled our tail ends off," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. "Until the ninth inning we were right there, but we just made too many mistakes."

    In the sloppy conditions, Southern Illinois committed four errors, and Wichita State committed three errors. However, SIU's errors led to three unearned runs, and the Shockers' errors led to only one unearned run.

    Henderson pointed to the errors but also the seven walks SIU issued, which compounded the troubles on defense. Five of the Shockers' runs came from hitters who reached base on a walk or were hit by a pitch. On the other side of the scoresheet, the Saluki hitters did not draw a walk in the game.

    "We made a couple throwing errors that were crucial," Henderson said. "We helped them out with walks and errors on most everything they did today. You're not going to win many games like that."

    Wichita State broke a 4-4 tie with an unearned run in the top of the seventh inning. With a runner at third base, WSU's Erik Harbutz, hit a slow roller to third base. Cody Daily's throw home was offline and got past catcher Matt Jones to allow the run to score. The inning began when Johnny Coy drew a leadoff walk against Matt Murphy. Pinch runner Taylor Doggett then stole second base and advanced to third as the throw went into center field.

    The go-ahead run came after SIU had overcome a 4-2 deficit to tie the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Casillas began the rally with a one-out fly ball to center field. WSU's Daniel Kihle slipped on the wet grass, allowing the ball to fall in for a double. Luke Mottashed followed with a single up the middle, which Kihle overran to allow Casillas to score and cut it to 4-3. After Daily singled, Mottashed scored on Wes Nece's sacrifice fly to tie the game.

    "Our kids never quit, and we made it a 4-4 game," Henderson said. "Two or three times after that, we had a chance to take the lead, and we just couldn't get that big hit to get those guys in."

    Murphy took the loss. He allowed the go-ahead run in the seventh and two more in the ninth. He entered with the bases loaded in the fifth and SIU trailing 4-2. He quickly induced a double play to end the inning. Murphy stayed in to pitch four innings, the longest outing by a Saluki reliever this year.

    "Murphy was certainly a bright spot for us again," Henderson said. "He came in and got the double play ball to get out of the fifth and threw very well for three more innings after that. He was starting to get a little tired (in the ninth)."

    WSU starter A.J. Ladwig took the win for Wichita State. He allowed four runs, three of them earned, in six innings of work.

    Wichita State plated a single game against Saluki starter Sam Coonrod in each of the first three innings. He allowed four runs in four and a third innings of work. Two of the runs against him were unearned. He left in line for the loss before SIU tied the game in the sixth. 

    Southern Illinois will try to take the series with the rubber match scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. at Abe Martin Field. Derek Fogel will start on the mound for the Salukis.