Matt Murphy allowed on run in two and two-thirds of an inning to record his fourth win of the year.
May 11, 2013
PEORIA, Ill. – A big inning was once again the difference in the game as Southern Illinois downed Bradley 9-7 Saturday afternoon at Dozer Park. A seven-run fourth inning rally gave the Salukis (23-27, 5-12 MVC) their first conference series win of the year as Bradley (16-27, 1-16 MVC) dropped its 14th straight conference contest.
“It wasn’t the prettiest thing in the world, but we battled extremely hard and just grinded one out,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “That’s a good win because several times we could’ve quit or shut it down, and we didn’t. We kept grinding. We kept finding ways to get runs in and get outs.”
Trailing 3-1 after three innings, Southern took an 8-3 lead, its first of the game, with the seven-run fourth and held on the rest of the way. The inning was helped by two Braves errors as only two of the runs were earned.
The Braves committed four errors in the game, which led to six unearned runs. Bradley pitchers also threw five wild pitches, two of which brought a runner home from third base.
“It’s very similar to last night,” Henderson said. “They gave us some breaks, but we had some big hits in that inning, and we took advantage of their mistakes.”
Ryan Rosthenhausler, Jake Welch, Matt Jones, Austin Montgomery and Ryan Casillas each delivered a one-out RBI single in the fourth. It was Southern’s highest offensive output for a single inning in a conference game this season.
“That’s a huge double play and a tough play,” Henderson said. “That ball was in the hole between third and short, and Jake Welch got to it. That was a great feed and a great pivot.”
Murphy stayed in to pitch two and two-thirds of an inning to even his season record at 4-4. He allowed one run in the seventh inning when Sprout hit an RBI triple to cut SIU’s lead to 9-6.
The Braves again threatened in the ninth inning. After pitching a perfect eighth, Tyler Dray stayed in to attempt a two-inning save with Southern leading 9-6. Dray allowed a lead-off walk followed by a single, but again Welch and Rosthenhausler turned a difficult double play, this time on a ball hit up the middle.
“That was as good as anything you’ll see all year,” Henderson said. “That’s a big league double play in the most crucial point of the game. If that ball gets through, it’s bases loaded and nobody out. Instead it’s a runner at third with two outs. That’s just a great play by Jake Welch and a great turn by Rosty.”
Following the double play, Bradley’s Greg Partyka hit an RBI double to cut the lead to 9-7. Todd Eaton then replaced Dray and induced a pop-up to earn a one-pitch save. It was his eighth save of the year.
Southern Illinois will try for its third series sweep of the season in the finale on Sunday when Aaron Snyder makes his first career conference start.