Senior Jimmy Cornell picked up his first career MVC victory
May 16, 2010
By Jason Clay
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois scored all six of its runs in the first three innings to carry them to a 6-4 win over Evansville on Sunday at Abe Martin Field to net the series win.
Evansville (28-24, 8-10 MVC) pounded the Dawgs 14-2 in eight innings in Friday's series opener, but Southern (25-26, 8-9 MVC) rallied to win the final two games of the series, each by two runs.
"We got demoralized Friday, but came back to win two," head coach Dan Callahan said. "That's a big win in the league and I think it is a big win as far as our confidence goes."
Five of SIU's six runs in the game came with two outs and 10 of its 14 hits were in the first three innings.
The Saluki pitching staff enjoyed a fine day on the mound. Senior left-handed pitcher Jimmy Cornell (3-4) earned his first career Missouri Valley Conference victory, as he threw five innings and gave up just five hits. He struck out six Purple Aces with three walks and gave up just three runs.
Southern's bullpen came in and gave four innings of one-run relief. Senior Bryant George closed out the game to get his sixth save on the year.
Evansville freshman right-hander Kyle Lloyd was chased out of the game in the third inning. He gave up 10 hits, nine of which were singles. He drew the loss to fall to 2-2 on the year.
Saluki junior center fielder Chris Murphy, who was 1-for-6 in the first two games, picked himself up and was 3-for-4 on Sunday with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.
A day after his 20-game hitting streak came to an end, sophomore first baseman Chris Serritella produced three hits on Sunday. Two of them were doubles and he also drove in a pair. Sophomore catcher Brian Bajer was 2-for-3 and he finishes the series with four hits in eight at-bats.
Serritella drove in his 55th run of the season with a double down the right-field line in the first inning.
Murphy, who scored the first run of the game, drove in two more for the Salukis in the second. Serritella capped off the inning with SIU's fifth-straight, two-out single to drive in Murphy from second and give the Dawgs a 4-0 lead.
SIU then put in some more two-out runs in the third. Michael Stalter and Bajer had back-to-back RBI singles, which were Southern's ninth and 10th hits through three innings.
Meanwhile, Cornell was cruising through the first four innings. He got key double plays in the first and second innings and had six strikeouts to help erase three walks and a hit batsman.
Evansville finally got to Cornell in the fifth. They loaded the bases up and Fick's screaming drive that narrowly missed Cornell on the mound plated two runs and then a third run scored on a wild pitch. That cut SIU's lead down 6-3.
Southern Illinois' bullpen backed up Cornell after he left following the fifth. Senior Ryan Bradley and then freshman Lee Weld got the Purple Aces to go three-up and three-down in the sixth and seventh innings.
The Purple Aces did get one run off of Weld in the eighth, but George didn't give up anything in the ninth to cap off a great day on the mound for the Saluki staff.