After he retired the first 15 batters he faced, junior left-hander Cody Forsythe ran into a little bit of trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning of the Salukis’ first-round matchup against Wichita State Tuesday. With the Salukis up 4-0, the Shockers had the bases loaded with nobody out.
Forsythe struck out the first batter he faced, but gave up two singles that drove in three runs to bring the Saluki lead down to one. Forsythe retired the next two batters on three pitches and stranded the tying run on second. After a few more threats to the Saluki lead, SIU came out on top 6-3 in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference baseball tournament.
Forsythe gave Wichita State another chance to tie the game in the seventh inning when senior outfielder Don Lambert hit a leadoff single and stole second to get into scoring position with one out. But Forsythe recorded the next two outs and stranded the tying run at second for the second straight inning.
Forsythe left the game after the seventh and earned the victory. He struck out eight while giving up three earned runs on seven hits.
Sophomore right-hander Todd Eaton came in to earn his ninth save of the season, and he did so after giving up three hits in two innings. Back-to-back solo home runs from Bajer and sophomore shortstop Donny Duschinksy in the top of the ninth helped cushion the lead for Eaton.
SIU jumped out to a 4-0 with the help of junior first baseman Chris Serritella, who drove in the first run on a double in the first inning and scored the second run later in the inning on a single by junior third baseman Austin Montgomery.
Serritella hit a solo home run in the top of the third, his 13th of the season. The Valley’s leading hitter went 3-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.
No. 6 SIU will play either No. 2 Missouri State or No. 7 Bradley Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield, Mo.