Salukis prevail in pitching duel

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By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

The SIU baseball team won on its second walkoff sacrifice fly in as many games Friday.

Junior center fielder Dyllin Mucha’s drive to center allowed junior third baseman Ryan Sabo to tag up and score from third, extending Southern Illinois’ (6-3) win streak to five games.

“I told Dyllin before the inning started, ‘You might get us a chance to win it with a base hit,'” coach Ken Henderson said. “‘But you’ve got to keep the ball out of the air.'”

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Iowa (2-5) remains winless against Missouri Valley Conference teams this season.

“That might be the best game I’ve been involved in as a head coach,” Henderson said. “Just from the simple fact that we played well.”

Junior lefty Joey Marciano extended his scoreless innings streak to 16 2/3 innings with 7 1/3 innings of two-hit baseball. Marciano struck out seven batters and walked four.

“I just went out there in the first inning and told myself, ‘Get ahead,'” Marciano said. “I was trying to get there with a first pitch strike, and just worked from there. Everything was A-okay.”

For as good as Marciano was, his counterpart was even better. Iowa sophomore right-hander C.J. Eldred did not allow a hit until the eighth inning. He gave up two hits and one run in 9 1/3 innings, striking out four batters and walking one.

“It definitely brings the adrenaline out,” Marciano said. “All the work’s been paying off lately, and it’s showing.”

Junior righty Anthony Shimkus (3-0) earned the win for the second straight game.  Iowa senior righty Tyler Radtke (0-1) took the loss.

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Sabo led off the bottom of the 11th by taking a slider to the shoulder from Hawkeye freshman righty Zach Daniels. He made two plays on popups in the top of the inning – one on a sliding attempt near home plate and another up against the dugout railing – to help Shimkus throw a scoreless frame.

“He’s good over there,” Shimkus said. “When the ball gets hit over there, you know it’s got a good chance of getting caught.”

The two teams return to action at 2 p.m. Saturday. Saluki junior right-hander Chad Whitmer (1-0, 0.64 earned run average) will face Iowa junior southpaw Ryan Erickson (0–0, 6.00).

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307

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