Joiner steps up to give Diamond Dawgs series win

By Gus Bode

Joiner steps up to give Diamond Dawgs series win

A rained out game four secured series victory for Salukis, but hurt them in the standings

SIU junior starting pitcher Josh Joiner knew he would have to go deep into Saturday’s game to help his team try and win the series.


The Salukis were already short two pitchers and after the team had split the first two games, Joiner needed to pitch with a lead deep into the ballgame.

Joiner lasted into the eighth inning and picked up the win for the SIU baseball team for a two-games-to-one series victory against Creighton.

“Early on, he wasn’t very good,” SIU baseball head coach Dan Callahan said. “In the first inning he gave up some hard hit balls. In the second, I thought he was going to have trouble staying in this game.”

Joiner (5-3) allowed two runs in the first, but was able to stop the Bluejays’ offense by not allowing any hits in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings before the Creighton offense suddenly came back to life.

“I started making good pitches the last couple of innings,” Joiner said. “I was getting kind of tired and trying to concentrate on saving the bullpen for the next day.”

In the eighth, the Salukis (25-20, 16-10 Missouri Valley Conference) were up 9-2 when the Bluejays’ bats woke up once again. An error, a triple, consecutive singles, a double and a single put together a five-run Creighton eighth.

Joiner lasted 7 1/3 innings, allowed 10 hits, seven runs, four earned with one walk and two strikeouts.


The Saluki bullpen came on and shut out the Bluejays (17-29, 11-12 MVC) for the rest of the game.

The Dawgs won the game 9-7 behind multiple-hit games by Greg Andrews (4), Sal Frisella (3), Toby Barnett (3), Josh Markle (3) and Matt Brewer (3).

SIU needed to see that kind of hitting after a game two beating at the hands of Creighton pitching.

Saluki offense mounted only one run on five hits while Creighton pounded out 11 runs on nine hits and chased SIU starter Bryan Rueger from the game after only 2 2/3 innings. Jim Vogel took one for the team and went the rest of the way, allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings.

“We got our lunch handed to us in game one on Saturday,” Callahan said. “We just got hammered. We didn’t do anything well. We didn’t pitch well. We didn’t hit well. We didn’t field it well.”

Callahan said that after game one of the doubleheader, the team decided to pretend it had never happened and proceeded to play the next game as such.

The Diamond Dawgs bullpen was depleted for the series because of a series-long suspension of Adam Snyder for violation of team rules in Evansville and because Marshall Tucker missed the bus Thursday morning.

Despite the Salukis’ pitching troubles, Joiner was not the only one to pitch well. SIU ace Jake Alley was his same old dominating self.

Alley (6-2) went 7 2/3 innings in the 3-1 series-opening win. He allowed one run on eight hits with five walks and six strikeouts. He was even able to temper two rallies after walking the bases loaded twice and getting out of the jam both times.

Creighton pitcher Tom Oldham pitched a complete game, but had took the loss.

The series was scheduled for four games with a finale on Sunday, but rain caused the game to be canceled. According to league rules, the game cannot be rescheduled.

Even with the series win, the Salukis remain in second place, one game behind Southwest Missouri State (17-9, 29-19), but will play third-place Wichita State (13-11, 34-21) in a four-game series beginning Friday at Abe Martin Field.

Reporter Christopher Morrical can be reached at [email protected]