Salukis snap five-game losing streak
After the Salukis tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh and chased Tennessee-Martin’s starting pitcher from the game. Then Skyhawk relief pitcher Daniel Tobik struck out the first two batters he faced, and he forced sophomore shortstop Donny Duschinsky to hit a 2-2 pitch to right-center field that he said should have been a routine out.
“I was hustling the whole time, and you never know what’s going to happen,” Duschinsky said. “I just managed to put it in a pretty good spot.”
The ball fell out of the glove of a diving Skyhawk right fielder Jordan Owen, and two runs scored to give SIU (19-18, 5-4 MVC) the 5-3 lead against Tennessee-Martin (10-26, 4-8 Ohio Valley Conference). Tobik departed the game after Duschinsky’s double, and junior first baseman Chris Serritella crushed the third pitch from Skyhawk freshman left-hander over the right-field fence to continue the offensive onslaught.
“It’s all mental. All of a sudden something good happens and it’s 5-3 and now guys relax,” said coach Ken Henderson. “Then Serritella, the (pitcher) made a mistake, and I’d say he made him pay for it.”
The Salukis scored eight runs in their final two innings to beat Tennessee-Martin 10-3 Wednesday at Abe Martin Field. The win snapped a five-game losing streak and improved SIU’s record in mid-week games to 3-6.
Saluki junior left-hander Nathan Dorris (5-3, 5.15 ERA) gave up three runs, one earned and struck out five over seven innings to earn the victory. He was on the hook for the loss until SIU’s offense erupted for five runs in the bottom of the seventh.
“I was just tried to go out and get ahead in the count with every hitter,” Dorris said. “The more times you get ahead, the more chance I have to throw my offspeed stuff, and that’s my bread and butter.”
Danny Kelley (0-3, 7.95 ERA) took the loss after he gave up five runs, three earned on six hits in six innings pitched. It was the longest outing for Kelley this season.
“I’d like to tell you what I think (about SIU’s performance against Kelley), but it probably wouldn’t be printable,” Henderson said. “But he threw strikes, and that’s the key. He threw stikes and got us out front. We weren’t real disciplined, we didn’t stay back (on the ball).”
The Salukis return to conference play against Creighton for a three-game series that starts Friday at 3 p.m. at Abe Martin Field.