Salukis outduel Belmont with 2-1 10th inning win

    Closer Todd Eaton pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first win of the year.

    Closer Todd Eaton pitched two scoreless innings to earn his first win of the year.
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    May 1, 2013

    Box Score

    CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois edged Belmont in the 10th inning with a 2-1 walk-off victory Wednesday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. It was the Salukis’ (21-24) fourth walk-off win of the year as they beat the Bruins (30-13) in their first ever trip to Carbondale.

    “Belmont is a tremendous club, so that’s a good win for us,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “I like the way we did it. You don’t see a 2-1 midweek game very often, but we played well all-around today.”

    Austin Montgomery drove home Jake Welch from third base with a game-winning infield single with two-outs in the bottom of the 10th. It was a ground ball to the right side that Belmont second baseman Scott Moses was able to knock down, but Montgomery beat it out at first base.

    “It was a fastball away,” Montgomery said. “I just hit it where he threw it. I didn’t think I had that one. It looked like it was hit right at him, but then it started tailing away, and it snuck right by.”

    The game-winner came after Belmont had loaded the bases with one out in the top of the inning. Working in his second inning of relief, Saluki closer Todd Eaton was able to induce an infield popup then strike out Belmont cleanup hitter Judah Akers to keep the game tied.

    Eaton took home his first win of the season. He allowed one hit in two scoreless frames.

    SIU pitchers held the Bruins hitless for the first five and two-thirds innings and limited Belmont to three total hits in the game.

    Aaron Snyder made a spot start, his first of the season, and left after four hitless innings. He walked two and struck out three.



    Belmont broke up the no-hitter and took a 1-0 lead in the top of sixth inning when Jared Breen doubled down the left field line and scored on Judah Akers’ single to right.

    Those were the only runs charged to Jacob Williams, who relieved Snyder with two innings of work. Tyler Dray followed with a scoreless seventh and eighth inning before handing it over to Eaton.

    “Every one of those guys today pitched great,” Henderson said. “To hold a team like that to three hits and one run, I can’t say enough about how well all those guys threw. Our pitchers did a great job of keeping us there until we figured it out.”

    Southern Illinois tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh on Brock Harding’s sacrifice fly to deep right field. It came after Derek Trovillion and Nick Johnson hit back-to-back one-out singles.

    Henderson shook up the lineup as Trovillion made his second start at first base this season, and right fielder Johnson made his second start in the last 19 games.  When shortstop Ryan Rosthenhausler was a late scratch due to illness, regular second baseman Jake Welch made his first start at shortstop since last season, moving Wes Neece back to second base and Brock Harding to left field.

    The defense did not miss a beat, playing 10 errorless innings and mixing in a few spectacular plays as well. Harding saved a run in the seventh inning with a diving catch in left field, and Welch made a couple great backhanded grabs in the hole.

    “Our defense was outstanding,” Henderson said. We made plays all day. Jake Welch did a great job sliding over to short for the first time all year. Everyone stepped up.”

    With the win, SIU broke a three-game losing streak and will look to take that momentum into its upcoming weekend series at Purdue.

    “Today’s a building block,” Welch said. “We’ve been losing some close games, so hopefully this is what helps us turn the corner.”