Cody Forsythe struck out a season-high eight batters and picked up his second conference win of the year.
May 10, 2013
PEORIA, Ill. – Southern Illinois rode a five-run sixth inning to a 6-2 win over Bradley Friday night at Dozer Park. For the Salukis (22-27, 4-12 MVC), the win snapped a seven-game road losing streak. Meanwhile Bradley (16-26, 1-15 MVC) has lost 13 straight conference games.
“It was a good ballgame,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “We had key hits. We pitched well, and we made plays. It’s been a long time since we did that.”
Southern Illinois already held a 1-0 advantage before the sixth inning rally. Jake Welch led off the inning with a single and scored the first run of the inning thanks to a sac bunt and two wild pitches. Then with one out and runners at the corners, Ryan Casillas hit a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 3-0. A walk loaded up the bases and knocked Bradley starter David Koll out of the game.
“We got some opportunities, and we took advantage of those opportunities,” Henderson said. “(Casillas) had the sac fly. That’s something that we haven’t been doing. We also tacked on runs with two outs. That’s something else we haven’t been doing, so that’s definitely a good sign that we did that.”
Cody Forsythe struck out a season-high eight batters in eight strong innings to earn the victory and improve his record to 3-4. Forsythe did not allow a run until the sixth inning.
Bradley finally got on the board in the sixth when Mike Tauchman hit a one-out double and scored on Greg Partyka’s single up the middle. Tauchman scored both of the Braves’ runs and had four of their nine hits. He finished the day four-for-four to improve his conference-leading batting average to .428.
“He’s a great player, and he’s had a great year,” Henderson said. “Unfortunately he came up in a couple crucial situations, but I’m glad we didn’t get to him in the ninth.”
Tauchman was on deck when the game ended. Todd Eaton pitched a scoreless ninth for the Salukis to close the game. Two batters reached against him on a dropped third strike and a single up the middle. Eaton recorded all three of his outs with strikeouts.
The Salukis will try for their first conference series win of the season when Sam Coonrod takes the mound Saturday in the second game of the series. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
“It’s good to win the first game of a series on the road,” Henderson said. “They’re better than their record indicates, but we need to come out and try to win the series.”