Senior Tyler Bullock hit his 11th homer of the season on Saturday
May 15, 2010
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois baseball team jumped out to a 7-2 lead on a three-run homer from Tyler Bullock and held on to defeat Evansville, 8-6, Saturday on senior day at Abe Martin Field.
The win ends a four-game losing streak for the Salukis (24-26, 7-9 MVC) and sets up Sunday's rubber match. Evansville, who run-ruled SIU in the first game of the series, drops to 28-23 on the year and 8-9 in the conference.
"I thought that was a courageous win," head coach Dan Callahan said. "Three times this year we got waxed on a Friday, but came back to win on a Saturday. When you get pounded on Friday and come back Saturday and win, that's a big-time adjustment."
Bullock, who was one of 11 seniors honored before the game as part of senior weekend, went 2-for-5 with that three-run bomb in the fourth that scored what proved to be the winning runs. It was his 11th homer of the season and 28th of his career, moving him into a tie with Matt Dettman and Sal Frisella for the second-most in school history.
Junior left-handed pitcher Randy Hoelscher went 6.1 inning to pick up his fourth win on the year (4-3). He allowed six hits and six runs (four earned) with three walks and two strikeouts. Senior closer Bryant George got the save, his fifth on the year and 28th of his career.
SIU out-hit the Purple Aces 10-9. The bottom three batters of SIU's order all joined Bullock with two hits on the day. Senior Aaron Roberts drove in two runs and catcher Brian Bajer had one RBI to go with his two hits. Senior Michael Stalter was 2-for-3 and had a double.
Evansville starter Sam Johns was pulled after the first inning due to a tight back. That forced the Purple Aces to throw five different pitchers in Saturday's game. Right-hander Seth McCabe, who replaced Johns (4-2) after the first, drew the loss as he gave up three runs in the second when SIU took the lead for good.
Sophomore first baseman Chris Serritella saw his 20-game hitting streak come to an end. He was 0-for-4 on the day with a walk and he scored on Bullock's fourth-inning homer.
Just like they did in Friday's game, Evansville jumped out to a lead by scoring two, two out runs in the first inning. Both runs were unearned and Nate Smith, who had three doubles on Friday, drove in the second run with yet another double to left field.
Southern got two runners on off walks in the second. Bajer then got SIU's first hit of the game with two outs to score Austin Montgomery from second. Roberts followed with a double to right center to clear the bases and give the Salukis the lead. It was just Roberts' second double of the year and 20th in his 204th career game.
The Dawgs came back in the third and loaded the bags up with just one out. Nick Johnson drove in one run with a single through the left side, but that was all SIU got as UE reliever Adam Culiver struck out the next two Saluki batters to leave the bases full.
Bullock upped SIU's lead to 7-2 in the fourth when he belted a three-run homer to right with two outs. It was Southern's first home run in six games.
Hoelscher, who came into the game with only two walks against his last 167 batters faced, walked two batters in the fifth inning. That set up a pair of sacrifice fly's and with RBI singles from Trentt Copeland's and Tom Heithoff in the seventh, Evansville cut the SIU lead down to 7-6.
UE had a chance to get more in the seventh as they had runners on first and third, but Saluki reliever Lee Weld picked off Heithoff at first to end the inning. It was his fifth pickoff this year.
SIU got an unearned run off a throwing error in the seventh that allowed Johnson to score an insurance run and give the Dawgs the 8-6 lead.
Weld got SIU through the eighth and George, who got a key double play on a groundball up to the mound, closed it out in the ninth to lock up the victory and match the teams win total from last year.