Late-game slip costs SIU

By Jack Robinson

After a game-tying home run by Saluki junior catcher Matt Jones, the Salukis allowed four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lose to the University of Illinois baseball team 11-7.

The Salukis traveled to Champaign, Ill., to face the Fighting Illini on Tuesday evening. SIU’s loss moves its record to 20-24 on the season and the Illini improve their record to 27-13. The loss also ended a seven-game non-conference winning streak for SIU, which was the longest streak since 2007.

SIU started junior pitcher Brad Drust on the mound against U of I freshman pitcher J.D. Nielsen. Drust had a rough outing after he allowed seven earned runs on ten hits in five innings.


SIU junior pitcher Matt Murphy received the loss after he allowed four runs and struck out one batter in two and two thirds innings pitched. Illini sophomore pitcher Drasen Johnson took the win after he struck out one batter and allowed a run in three and one third innings pitched.

The Salukis started the game with a bang as they posted four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Senior outfielder Austin Montgomery plunked his seventh home run of the season with Jones on base to score two runs. Junior first baseman Ryan Casillas reached first on a fielding error by U of I sophomore first baseman David Kerian. In the next at-bat, on the first pitch, junior infielder Cody Daily homered to left center to score two more runs for the Salukis and take a 4-0 lead over U of I.

The Fighting Illini tied the game up in the top of the third inning with their own four-run inning. The first run was scored by senior infielder Justin Parr who reached first on a fielder’s choice to allow sophomore catcher Kelly Norris-Jones to score. The next three runs came in the next at-bat when junior outfielder Jordan Parr homered to left center to score Justin Parr and junior shortstop Thomas Lindauer to tie the game at four.

U of I and the Salukis exchanged runs in the fifth inning with the Illini coming out on top by one run. The Salukis scored in the top of the inning on a Montgomery triple to center field to score both Jones and senior outfielder Rennie Troggio.

The Illni responded when Jordan Parr hit his second homer of the game to score Justin Parr and sophomore designated hitter Michael Hurwitz to lead 7-6 over SIU.

SIU tied the game at seven in the seventh when Jones hit the fourth home run of the game.

In the bottom of the eighth, Lindauer doubled to left field to allow senior outfielder Davis Hendrickson to put the Illini up 8-7. Hurwitz singled to left field in the next at-bat, and Lindauer scored from second base to lead 9-7.  Then in his third hit of the game, Jordan Parr doubled down the line, which scored Hurwitz.


For the game’s final run, Jordan Parr scored after senior infielder Brandon Hohl doubled to left center.

The Salukis concluded the inning with a strikeout and double play to finish the game 11-7 in favor of the Fighting Illini.

SIU hosts the Belmont University Bears at the Abe Martin Field in Carbondale on May 1st at 3 p.m.

Jack Robinson can be reached at [email protected] or 536-3311 ext.269