Sam Coonrod allowed two runs in six innings and dropped his record to 3-5 with the loss.
May 17, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Illinois State shut out Southern Illinois 2-0 Friday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. The Redbirds scored two runs in the first inning without the aid of a hit and held on to hand SIU (24-30, 6-14 MVC) its fourth shutout of the season and its second in the last three games. Illinois State (35-18, 15-5 MVC) clinched a share of the Missouri Valley Conference regular season title with the win.
ISU’s Brett Kay led off the game with a walk and moved to second when Chad Hinshaw reached on catcher’s interference. The two Redbirds crossed the plate on a groundout and a sacrifice fly, respectively for the only scoring of the game.
Saluki starter Sam Coonrod took the loss despite a solid effort. The sophomore allowed just two hits in six innings of work. Following the first inning, he tossed five scoreless frames. Coonrod seemed to get stronger as the game progressed and departed after reaching a predetermined pitch limit of 100 in preparation for next week’s conference tournament.
Matt Murphy was the only reliever used by Southern. He pitched the final three innings and allowed just two hits.
“In the first inning we were wondering what we were going to get (from Coonrod),” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said, “but the last two innings were the best he threw. He was outstanding in the sixth inning. He did a great job, kept us in the ballgame and gave us a great chance. Murphy also did a great job.”
Dan Savas threw 137 pitches for the Redbirds and tossed a complete game shutout as he improved his record to 9-0 on the season. He scattered four singles, two of which did not leave the infield, and struck out eight batters.
SIU had the leadoff man aboard in the seventh and eighth innings, but Savas was able to get a ground ball for a double play in both instances.
Southern Illinois did not advance a runner to third base until the ninth. With Savas running out of gas, the Salukis loaded up the bases with one out. Matt Jones led off the ninth with an infield single. Then with one out, Ryan Casillas and Cody Daily drew back-to-back walks. However, Luke Mottashed flew out, and pinch hitter Brock Harding struck out to end the game.
SIU has held Illinois State to just seven total hits in the first two games of the series, but has not been able to translate that into a victory.
“We need to find ways to win,” Henderson said. “We’ve been in so many games (this season) and just haven’t found a way to win. That’s disappointing, and it’s frustrating. We’ve had two winnable games, and we need to find a way to get it done.”
Saturday will be the final game played at Abe Martin Field before major renovations to the facility this offseason. The Salukis will try to close out the regular season on a high note and avoid a sweep, which would give Illinois State the outright conference title. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. It will also be Senior Day as SIU will honor its nine seniors prior to their final home game.