May 6, 2007
By Jeff Honza
OMAHA, Neb. - Left-hander Ben Mancuso allowed only three hits and struck out five in eight scoreless innings to lead Creighton University (32-12, 14-4) to a 7-0 win over Southern Illinois (29-18, 9-9) earlier today in the series finale at CU Sports Complex.
Mancuso, who tossed a no-hitter through 4.2 innings, mowed down SIU today.
After retiring 14 in a row to start the game, rain and lightning suspended play for one hour and five minutes.
SIU had a runner on first with two outs in the fifth when play resumed. It was then when Mancuso gave up his first hit, a single up the middle to Tyler Lairson.
After that, Mancuso went on to sit down seven of the next eight hitters he faced and recorded back-to-back strikeouts in consecutive innings (sixth, seventh).
While Mancuso merely dominated on the mound for CU, Saluki starter Jordan Powell ran into trouble again.
In his second-straight Sunday start, Powell hit two batters and gave up a two-out, two-RBI double to Robbie Knight, as CU took a 3-0 lead in the second.
Michael Lam singled out of the nine-hole with one out and came around to score on another double by Knight to push the Bluejays' lead to 4-0 in the fourth.
Powell was relieved by Brad Lawrence following the rain delay.
Lawrence, after holding the Bluejays scoreless in the fifth and sixth, gave up three consecutive singles in the seventh. Chris Gradoville ripped a base hit to right center and scored with the help of a Darin Ruf single to right and Andrew Small base knock to center.
CU put the finishing touches on its 7-0 series-clinching win with two runs off Bryant George in the eighth.
Mancuso improved to 8-1 on the year, while Powell (5-7) suffered his fifth loss in six starts. Powell's last six starts consisted of five losses and a no-decision.
Lairson had half of the Salukis' hits.
SIU was shutout for the fourth time this season and fell to its fourth series loss in conference play. The Salukis, who stand at .500 (9-9) in MVC games, have not won a series on the road in 2007.
SIU plays its final home series of the season when it hosts Northern Iowa next weekend. The Salukis and Panthers open a three-game set Friday at 2 p.m., CST.