Junior Randy Hoelscher threw a career-high 8.1 innings as he won his third-straight decision
May 1, 2010
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois junior left-handed pitcher Randy Hoelscher only gave up six hits in 8.1 innings and Blake Pinnon's two-run homer in the seventh led the Salukis to a 4-2 over SIU-Edwardsville on Saturday at Abe Martin Field.
SIU's fifth win in its last six games pushes its record up to 21-22 overall and the Dawgs look for the series sweep in Sunday's contest where they can get back to .500. SIUE falls to 12-30 on the year with its eighth-straight loss.
Hoelscher followed Nathan Forer's performance from Friday, as the two both flirted with pitching SIU's first complete game in two years. Hoelscher (3-2) won his third-straight decision with his strong day on the hill where he only allowed two runs and walked just one batter.
"I got stronger as I went on," Hoelscher said. "I was working ahead and when you do that and throw the ball down you'll have a lot of success. I got to give a lot of credit to my defense today, they played outstanding behind me. It would have been nice to get a complete game, but then you got a guy like [Bryant George] coming out and finishing it off with no problem. It was a good team win today."
Hoelscher retired 19-of-21 batters from the end of the second through the end of the eighth. He was pulled in the ninth with one out after giving up back-to-back singles. Senior Bryant George entered and recorded his third save of the year by striking out the last two Cougar batters when runners were on first and third.
"We thought [Hoelscher] got stronger as the game went on," head coach Dan Callahan said, echoing what Hoelscher thought of his outing. "I thought he did a good job of spotting up and changing speeds with more than one pitch. He was effective. They didn't get a lot of good swings off of him."
Pinnon then gave SIU the lead for good with his two-run homer in the seventh. He finished the day by going 1-for-3 and drove in three of Southern's four runs in the game.
"I kept fighting off pitches and got down 3-2," Pinnon said of his seventh-inning at-bat that proved to be the game-winner. "He threw me fastball after fastball away, but I just kept fouling them off. He finally came in and I got a hold of one. My first couple of at-bats today weren't real good, but I made an adjustment throughout the game and good things happened."
Sophomore Chris Serritella extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his first-inning single. Freshman Austin Montgomery was 2-for-4 with one RBI and classmate Nick Johnson also went 2-for-4. Those two were the only Salukis with two hits in the game.
SIUE starter Dustin Quattrocchi (4-5) picked up the loss. He threw seven innings and struck out eight.
The Cougars got one run in each of the first two innings off of three hits, but Hoelscher settled in and retired 17 out of the next 19 batters from the end of the second through the seventh. One of those Cougar batters that got on reached off a Saluki error in the fifth and Brett Keeler singled in the seventh.
SIUE's Quattrocchi was dealing as well early in the game. Montgomery drove in one run in the first on a two-out single through the left side of the infield. Quattrocchi rebounded and retired nine of the next 10 Salukis that came to the plate and the one batter that got on was also off an error.
Southern finally got something brewing off Quattrocchi in the fifth. Stalter and Aaron Roberts led off the inning with singles and Chris Murphy then reached on an error while he was trying to sacrifice the two over.
That brought up Pinnon with the bases loaded and his sacrifice fly to center scored Stalter. SIU would get no more in the fifth, but still knotted the game at two.
When Pinnon came to the plate again in the seventh, he gave the Salukis its first lead of the game when he belted a two-run homer to left field.
Southern Illinois looks for its second series sweep of the season in Sunday's game that is schedule for 1 p.m.