Cody Daily hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season Thursday.
May 15, 2014
By Scott Gierman
DALLAS – Two costly errors led to eight unearned runs as Southern Illinois dropped its series opener 11-6 to Dallas Baptist Thursday night at Horner Ballpark. The Patriots (34-18, 12-7 MVC) scored the eight unearned runs as a result of two errors by SIU (25-27, 4-15 MVC). With the loss, the Salukis have now lost 10 of their last 11 series openers.
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “You take away those two mistakes and we played well.”
Dallas Baptist broke the game open with six unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take an insurmountable 7-1 lead. All of the damage came following a two-out error by third baseman Will Farmer. With a runner at second base, Farmer fielded a routine ground ball off the bat of Mike Wesolowski. After hesitating as he considered tagging the runner headed towards him, Farmer threw the ball off the mark to first base. First baseman Ryan Casillas came off the bag to make the catch but was unable to swipe a tag on Wesolowski.
After the error, Sam Coonrod could not get the elusive final out of the inning. He issued two walks and three singles and departed with five runs across in the inning and two runners still on base. Reliever Chad Whitmer allowed one RBI single before finally ending the inning with a groundout.
Coonrod had only allowed a single run off three hits in four innings of work before the catastrophic fifth inning. In total, he was charged with seven runs, only one of them earned, in four and two-thirds of an inning of work as his record dropped to 1-6 in 2014.
The Patriots piled on two more unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to stretch their lead to 9-1. The runs again scored with two outs following an error by Farmer.
“Give them credit,” Henderson said. “They’re a good club. We gave them extra chances, and they took advantage of it. We made the two two-out errors, but they jumped all over both of them.”
Patriots starter Cy Sneed threw seven innings and held the Salukis to one run off four hits. He was also helped out by a few great defensive plays as he earned his eighth win of the season.
DBU stretched the lead to 10-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh and advanced the potential game-ending run to third base in the seventh and eighth innings.
However, the Salukis avoided their third run-rule loss of the year and rallied for five runs in the final two frames to make the game a little closer.
Josh Urban replaced Stutzman and got the final out of the inning.
After allowing another run in the bottom of the eighth to make it an 11-3 game, the Salukis made it a little more interesting with three runs against Urban in the top of the ninth. Matt Jones began the inning with a single, and Tyler Rolland drew a walk. Pinch hitter Ryan Rosthenhausler singled home Jones, and after Connor Kopach drew a walk, Rolland scored on Jake Welch’s sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 11-5. Casillas doubled Rosthenhausler home to cut the deficit to five before Cody Daily flew out to end the game.
“We didn’t quit,” Henderson said. “We came back and all of the sudden it’s a five-run game. I’m proud of our guys for battling late, not giving in and continuing to score runs.”
It was a tight, low scoring affair in the first four innings of the contest.
DBU took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on Austin Lisit’s sacrifice fly. It came after Coonrod loaded the bases with no outs. He began the first inning with a walk, a hit batsman and an infield single. Coonrod got out of the inning with a double play.
Daily tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fourth with his team-leading sixth home run of the season. After taking a couple mid-90s fastballs up and in, he finished off a seven-pitch at-bat with a no-doubter down the line and over the left field wall.
“I thought we swung it well all night, even early on,” Henderson said. “I thought we had pretty good approaches and pretty good swings all night long. I’m awfully proud of our effort.”
The Salukis will try to even the series on Friday when Todd Eaton takes the mound for SIU. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central Time.