April 28, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Cody Adams became the first Saluki pitcher to win 10 games in a season in 26 years when he led Southern Illinois University (27-15, 7-7) to a 6-4 win over Missouri State (19-23, 4-10) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
Adams (10-2) struck out six and allowed four runs in 7.1 innings en route to his second-straight Missouri Valley Conference win. The last SIU pitcher to get 10 wins in a season was Robbie Clark (1981).
"I didn't think Cody had his best stuff today, but I was proud of the way he kept competing," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "He made some key pitches at crucial times in the game."
A native of Viola, Ill., Adams is three victories away from breaking the school's all-time single-season record in pitching wins (12 by Bob Schroeck in 1979; Dick Langdon in 1971; John Susce in 1968; Eugene Vincent in 1964).
Scott Elmendorf's first career home run helped propel SIU to a 3-0 lead in the second.
"I was just trying to put the bat on the ball," said Elmendorf. "It felt good to get that first home run."
MSU came back with two runs to narrow the gap to 3-2 in the top of the fifth.
Chris Taylor and Tanner Mattson reached on back-to-back one-out singles to left. The Bears capitalized on a Saluki error, double steal and grounder to short to plate the runs.
SIU, however, got those runs back during its at-bat in the fifth.
Aaron Roberts led off with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a one-out double by Mark Kelly. Kelly later scored with the help of a wild pitch and passed ball to get the Dawgs a 5-2 advantage.
With a run already in and runners at the corners with one out, Adams got Brayden Drake to hit into a double play in the sixth.
Two innings later, Adams gave up back-to-back doubles and one run on four pitches, as the Bears sliced the lead to 5-4.
With one out after Kyle Paul grounded to second, Ben Carlson walked, marking the end for Adams. Ian Reinhart took over on the mound and immediately faced a one-out bases loaded jam after walking Matt Lawson.
But, Reinhart beared down to force pinch-hitter Chris Playter into a huge 6-4-3 inning-ending double play.
The Salukis put the series-clinching 6-4 win on ice when Bret Maugeri scored in the bottom of the eighth.
Scott Carroll fell to 3-2 after giving up nine hits and five runs in seven innings of work. Carroll, who dropped back-to-back starts against the Dawgs, also recorded six strikeouts.
Freshman Bryant George earned his team-high eighth save and second-straight of the series.
He came on in the ninth and escaped a two-out, first-and-third threat by getting Shane Elenz to pop up to second.
MSU outhit SIU, 11-9, on the day.
Nolan Keane (3), Elenz (2) and Taylor (2) each had multiple-hits.
Kelly went 3-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI en route to his team-high 21st multiple-hit performance. Tyler Lairson followed with two hits.
SIU also posted a season-high five stolen bases. That total single-handedly matched a MVC series-high.
The Salukis, who dealt the Bears their 11th consecutive loss, beat MSU in a series three consecutive years for the first time in school history.
SIU goes for its second sweep in MVC play when it hosts MSU at 1 p.m., Sunday. Senior right-hander Jordan Powell (5-6) will make his first career Sunday start.