May 1, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The University of Illinois (21-20) scored all but three of its runs with two outs in a 13-5 win over Southern Illinois (28-16) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
The Fighting Illini registered a combined 14 hits against five different Saluki pitchers en route to snapping SIU's four-game winning streak.
"Our pitchers struggled to get outs late in innings," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "Illinois is a very good hitting ballclub and you can't give them opportunities like we did today."
Illinois strung together four-straight two-out hits to take a 3-0 lead in the second.
Ryan Hastings and Joe Bonadonna reached on back-to-back base hits, Kyle Hudson doubled and Ryan Snowden reached on a single to fuel the rally.
Tyler Lairson's two-out homer to left center narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the bottom of the second, but that was as close as SIU would get. The home run marked Lairson's first of the season.
The Illini added four more runs in the third.
With a run already in, Bonadonna drew a two-out walk to load the bases. An ensuing error by Scott Elmendorf and single by Snowden led to three unearned runs, giving Illinois a 7-2 lead.
Illinois continued to pour it on when Snowden's two-RBI double with two outs in the fifth and Roof's RBI-double with two away in the sixth upped the lead to 10-2.
After Michael Finigan's bases clearing double made it a 10-5 game in the bottom of the eighth, the Salukis fell apart defensively in the ninth.
Illinois capitalized on a single game high three errors by SIU third baseman Lou Johanns to plate another three runs to cap its 13-5 win.
Freshman Kevin Manson (2-1) allowed three hits and two runs, while striking out three en route to his second win of the season.
SIU pitching only recorded one strikeout on the day, marking the second-lowest in a game behind the Dawgs' two Ks against Missouri State on Apr. 27.
Offensively, Illinois was led by Snowden who went 4-for-5 with a double and four RBI. Bonadonna followed with three hits and four runs scored.
SIU was keyed by Lairson, who finished at 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
Defensively, SIU was charged with four errors. That number surpassed the total amount of mishaps in the Salukis' last four games combined.
SIU returns to Missouri Valley Conference action when it hits the road to face second-place Creighton this weekend. The Salukis and Bluejays open a three-game series Friday at 7:30 p.m., CST. SIU and CU will play the first two games of that series at Rosenblatt Stadium.