May 12, 2007
By Jeff Honza
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Five of the top seven hitters in the Panther lineup had three hits to power Northern Iowa (21-25, 6-14) to a commanding 8-2 win over Southern Illinois (30-19, 10-10) earlier today at Abe Martin Field.
UNI scored on three different pitchers and torched SIU's staff for 17 hits en route to dealing the Dawgs a tough loss on senior day.
"We came out flat today and didn't get a good start on the mound," said Saluki head coach Dan Callahan. "I was disappointed with our overall effort."
The majority of the damage came from Deric Manrique, Eric Hoffman, Brandon Douglas, Dane Embury and Travis Hendrix.
Manrique (3-for-5, 1 R), Hoffman (3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI) and Douglas (3-for-3, 3 R, 2 RBI) combined for nine hits, six runs and three RBI out of the first three spots in the lineup.
Embury followed with a 3-for-5, four RBI performance out of the five-hole, while Hendrix finished at 3-for-5 with a run scored in the seven-spot.
UNI rallied behind that part of the order to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth and never looked back.
After Embury's two-out single knocked in both Hoffman and Douglas to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead in the fifth, UNI added four more in the sixth and another in the eighth to polish off its first win in Carbondale since the opening game of the 2001 series.
UNI had 10 base hits before keying its big sixth inning with three doubles, one each by Douglas, Hendrix and Curt Bradley.
The Panthers went on to outhit SIU, 17-10. All but three of UNI's hits were singles.
Nick Kirk (4-3) allowed nine hits, gave up two runs and struck out five to earn his fourth win of the season.
Meanwhile, Cody Adams scattered a career-high 12 hits and allowed five runs in 5.1 innings before suffering his second-straight loss. He is now 10-4 on the year.
SIU's quiet two runs came via a two-out RBI-single by Bret Maugeri in the second and a two-out, run-scoring double by Mark Kelly in the seventh. Kelly, the Salukis' cleanup hitter, went 13 consecutive at-bats without a hit prior to his double.
SIU had beaten UNI 11 times in a row on its home field until today. The Salukis are now 17-6 all-time versus the Panthers in Carbondale.
The Salukis and Panthers conclude their series Sunday at 1 p.m., CST. Jordan Powell (5-7) is expected to start on the hill for SIU.