May 6, 2006
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Tyler Norrick struck out seven and twirled a four-hit shutout through eight and two-thirds innings to lead Southern Illinois University (31-18, 10-7) to a 4-2 win over Indiana State (19-26, 5-12) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
Norrick, a power left-hander out of Festus, Mo., stifled INS' offense in his best start of the season to date. Only five Sycamores reached base against him in the first eight innings of the game, and two were stranded at third. He also retired INS in order in each of the third, fifth, seventh and eighth frames.
SIU, who is 17-7 when scoring first on its opponents this season, once again pulled ahead of the Trees early.
SIU added another run in the fourth and fifth innings to push its lead to 4-0.
Dean Cademartori tripled and scored on a wild pitch with two outs in the fourth, while Gerrard's sacrifice fly brought home Nathan Emrick in the fifth. Emrick led off the fifth with a single to left, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring.
Norrick was one out shy of his second complete game shutout in as many years when things suddenly got hectic for the Dawgs in the ninth.
Cory Kral reached on an error and stole second with two away.The Missouri Valley Conference's leading hitter, Nevin Ashley, came to the plate next, and lifted a high, wind blown pop-up in foul territory along the first base side.
Norrick threw 130 pitches before giving way to Saluki closer Dusty Baker immediately after Ashley's hit, but Baker gave up a RBI-single to Kyle Kolb.
Freshman left-hander Danny Wells then relieved Baker and got Marcus Artner to ground out to third for the final out of the game. Wells, who made a team-high 26th relief appearance, earned his second save.
INS had three hits and could have possibly done more damage in the ninth, but a key mistake on the bases proved costly for the Sycamores.
Tim Brewer had a lead off single prior to the Salukis error. However, after SIU third baseman Matt Brewer misplayed Kral's grounder, he threw out T. Brewer on the same play when he ran past second base. INS would have had runners on first and second with no outs minus the baserunning blunder.
Norrick, who improved to 4-3 on the year, scattered six hits and was charged with both runs (unearned) in the ninth. His seven strikeouts fell one short of matching a season-high. In addition, he did not allow a walk for the first time in 12 starts this year.
"Even though my pitch count was high, my arm felt good," said Norrick. "I was getting ahead in the count and had good command."
Ryan Hayes suffered the loss for INS. He fell to 3-4 after scattering seven hits and four runs in seven innings. He also struck out five and walked one.
Offensively, Emrick went 3-for-3 with a triple and a run scored out of the nine-hole to lead SIU. His three hits added to a total of seven for the Salukis on the day.
Brewer (2), Ashley (2) and Kolb (2) combined for six of INS' seven hits.
SIU goes for a sweep of INS tomorrow at 1 p.m., CST. Brewer will start on the mound.
"We can't settle for winning two of three games," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "We've had two quality starts on the mound and hope to get another Sunday."