Southern Illinois takes series opener, 5-3
The Missouri State baseball team led 3-1 after two and a half innings but saw the lead slip away for good in the bottom of the third in a 5-3 Missouri Valley Conference loss to Southern Illinois Friday afternoon at Abe Martin Field in Carbondale, Ill.
The Salukis (26-15, 6-7 MVC) took the lead with a three-run third and added an insurance tally in the fourth for the final margin. The Bears fell to 19-22 overall and 4-9 in the league with their 10th straight loss.
The Bears took a 2-0 advantage in the second. With Ryan Mantle on first and two outs, Josh Mazzola hammered a 2-2 pitch from SIU southpaw Shawn Joy over the left-center field wall to give Missouri State its first lead in the last 51 innings of play.
The Salukis cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second as Chris Crank knocked a solo homer to left-center.
MSU got the run back in the third when Shane Elenz singled home Ben Woodbury after the leadoff man walked and stole second.
SIU’s Adam Hills blasted a two-run shot to center in the bottom of the frame and Dean Cademartori hit a two-out RBI single as the Salukis regained the lead at 4-3, ending Ross Detwiler’s stretch of 14 consecutive starts without allowing more than three earned runs dating back to the last time he started against SIU on April 23 of last season.
After Hills added an RBI single in the fourth, Detwiler was lifted for Pat Doyle with two runners on and two outs, ending his day with under five innings pitched for the first time in 20 outings.
Doyle retired all 13 batters he faced, going a career-high 4.1 innings of perfect relief.
Joy (4-2) went seven innings for the victory, allowing three runs on seven hits and holding Missouri State scoreless in his final four innings. Ian Reinhart threw a scoreless eighth and Bryant George retired the side in the ninth for his seventh save.
Elenz had MSU’s only multiple-hit effort at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk. Prior to grounding out in the eighth, Elenz had reached base in seven consecutive plate appearances.
Game two of the series is tomorrow at 2 p.m.