Wes Neece was three-for-three with a double and a walk.
May 4, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Southern Illinois dropped its second straight game against Purdue with a 5-3 loss Saturday night at Alexander Field. Clutch situations were the difference in the game. The Salukis (21-26) stranded 11 runners and struck out six times with runners in scoring position while the Boilermakers (14-27) scored all of their runs with two outs.
“As soon as we get in those situations, we can’t put a ball in play,” Henderson said. “We didn’t need to get a hit (with runners in scoring position). We just needed to put a ball in play. That happened at least five or six times tonight.”
Purdue’s Josh Estill drove in four of the Boilermakers’ five runs. With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, he hit a double to the warning track in left field to score Kyle Wood. Wood had drawn a two-out walk.
Purdue then added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth thanks to three walks and two wild pitches.
“We had a one-run game in the eight,” Henderson said, “and we let them score a run without putting a bat on a ball. They didn’t even have to make contact.”
SIU starter Sam Coonrod surrendered four runs in seven innings of work and took the loss, his fourth of the season. He was one out away from finishing the seventh inning with a 3-1 lead before surrendering the double to Estill. Coonrod allowed six hits total and three of them to Estill.
“Sam threw well,” Henderson said. “He kept us in the game and did a good job. He was a little erratic early, but he figured it out and started pounding the zone the last three or four innings.”
Southern Illinois briefly took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning. The first run scored when Rennie Troggio hit a potential inning-ending double play ball with runners at the corners. However, Purdue second baseman Brandon Krieg bobbled the ball at second base. A batter later, Austin Montgomery followed with a two-run double to give SIU a 3-1 advantage.
“Those three guys are doing everything we’re asking them to do, but they need some help,” Henderson said. “They need guys to be able to perform when it counts, and tonight we didn’t do that.”
The Boilers quickly responded to SIU’s fifth-inning rally with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 3-3. The first two batters of the inning singled then moved into scoring position on a groundout to Coonrod. Estill then delivered a two-run, game-tying single for his second and third RBI of the game.
Southern’s best chances to take back control of the game came in the sixth and seventh innings. The Salukis moved two men into scoring position with nobody out in the sixth, but two strikeouts and a flyout ended the fruitless inning. SIU then loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but one of their five inning-ending strikeouts ended the threat.
Southern Illinois has outhit Purdue by a 24-14 margin but has stranded 22 runners in the first two games of the series. On Sunday SIU will try to break a season-high six-game road losing streak. The series finale is scheduled for noon Central Time.