Dawgs downed by Shockers

Dawgs downed by Shockers

By Jack Robinson


The Saluki baseball team lost two out of three games by a combined run total of seven to Wichita State University during the weekend.

Friday, the Salukis started senior pitcher Cody Forsythe on the mound against WSU junior pitcher Cale Elam. Forsythe’s start was his 45th in his collegiate career, which sets the SIU school record for most starts.


Forsythe pitched seven innings, struck out four batters and allowed one earned run in three hits. Forsythe’s effort was enough to get him his second win of the year and drop his ERA to 2.79 on the season.

“I felt really good. I was locked in early and was throwing all my pitches for strikes, and we were able to keep them off balance,” Forsythe said. “We were working the inside corner really well. We just battled all day.”

The first runs came in the third inning after the Salukis capitalized off of three WSU errors with a four-run surge to take the game’s first lead. SIU then took a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning after senior outfielder Austin Montgomery hit his sixth home run of the season.

The score was 5-2 in the Salukis’ favor after the Shockers scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning. SIU junior relief pitcher Todd Eaton relieved Forsythe in the top of the eighth inning and earned his seventh save of the season to guide the Salukis to a 5-4 win over WSU.

On a rainy alumni day in Carbondale, the Salukis started sophomore pitcher Sam Coonrod in his 11th start of the season. Despite the rain, Coonrod accumulated three strikeouts and allowed two runs off of seven hits in four innings pitched.

The Shockers started the game with a run in the first three innings to take a 3-0 lead after the top of the third inning. Junior catcher Matt Jones hit a double to left field with two runners on base to score senior outfielder Rennie Troggio and junior infielder Jake Welch to trail WSU 3-2 in the third inning.

Shockers sophomore first baseman Casey Gillaspie scored when junior second basemen Dayne Parker hit a single to the left side to take a 4-2 lead.


In the bottom of the sixth inning with one out, senior catcher Luke Mottashed singled and advanced to second base on an error by WSU freshman outfielder Daniel Kihle to allow SIU junior first basemen Ryan Casillas to score. Then two at-bats later, Saluki senior outfielder Wes Neece hit a sacrifice fly ball to right field and Mottashed scored to tie the game at four.

WSU sophomore pinch runner Taylor Doggett scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh inning to take a 5-3 lead over SIU. Gillaspie, junior shortstop Erik Harbutz and freshman infielder Tanner Kirk scored three runs in the ninth to win 8-4 over the Salukis.

The Salukis committed four errors Saturday and Welch said in a post-game interview the weather conditions could have attributed to some of the mistakes.

“It was a sloppy day, but we gotta do our best to try to limit those errors and those walks to a minimum,” Welch said. “I feel like we kinda beat ourselves in the first two innings.”

Although the Salukis couldn’t grab the win Saturday, SIU head coach Ken Henderson said the Salukis’ effort was commendable.

“Our kids never quit, and we made it a 4-4 game,” Henderson said. “Two or three times after that we had a chance to take the lead, and we just couldn’t get that big hit to get those guys in.”

In the final game of the series, the Salukis battled it out with the Shockers. SIU failed to come away with the win and subsequently lost the series.

The Salukis started junior pitcher Derek Fogel in his 10th start of the season. Fogel pitched five innings and allowed two earned runs off of seven hits with one strikeout. For WSU, pitcher T.J. McGreevy won the game after he allowed zero earned runs off of three hits with one strike out.

The Shockers scored first in the top of the second inning when junior outfielder Micah Green scored off of sophomore catcher Tyler Baker’s single to right field. WSU scored again in the top of the third inning as Harbutz singled to left field and junior outfielder Garrett Bayliff scored the team’s second run of the game.

In the bottom of the third inning with one out, SIU junior shortstop Ryan Rosthenhausler scored off of a single hit by Welch to left field to trail WSU 2-1. Three at-bats later, Jones singled through the left side and grabbed an RBI as Welch scored to tie the game 2-2.

The Shockers scored the game’s last runs in the top of the sixth inning with a three-run surge to win 5-2 over SIU. The game-winning run was scored when freshman infielder Tanner Dearman was walked and senior designated hitter Johnny Coy scored an unearned run. In the next at-bat, Bayliff singled to right field to score Baker and Green to lead 5-2.

SIU’s series against WSU puts the team’s season record at 20-22 and 3-11 in MVC play. The Salukis’ next game is at 6:05 p.m. Tuesday in Champaign against the University of Illinois.