CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois used four runs in the third inning off three Shocker errors to defeat Wichita State 5-4 on Friday afternoon at Abe Martin Field.
Wichita State’s rally in the seventh and eighth innings fell short as the Shockers fell to the Salukis, 5-4
Cale Elam took the loss for the Shockers after pitching three innings, giving up four hits and four runs.
Southern Illinois scored four runs on four hits and three errors in the third inning to take an early 4-0 lead. Neither team had a hit or a base runner until Wes Neece singled up the middle. A fielding error by the Shockers allowed Neece to score to give the Salukis a 1-0 advantage. A couple more fielding errors allowed three more Saluki base runners to score the final runs of the inning.
Forsythe was perfect through five innings until Tanner Kirk hit a single to left field in the top of the sixth inning but it wasn’t quite enough, as Kihle would fly out to center to end the inning.
Southern Illinois kept the hot hitting alive in the bottom of the sixth when Austin Montgomery hit a solo homerun to give the Salukis a 5-0 lead.
The Shockers came to life in the seventh when Garrett Bayliff extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a single to left field before Harbutz hit a double down the right field line, advancing Bayliff to third. Gillaspie loaded the bases after being walked by Forsythe and Coy hit a fly-out RBI to center field, cutting the Saluki lead, 5-1.
A pitch hit Dayne Parker, allowing Harbutz to score and brought the Shockers within three, 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh.
The Salukis looked to score again in the bottom of the seventh but the Shocker defense came up big with a double-play by Parker to end the inning.
Wichita State cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the eighth inning when Harbutz scored off a Gillaspie single to right field. Coy continued the Shocker hitting streak, advancing Gillaspie to second and Micah Green hit a double to left field, scoring Gillaspie to cut the lead 5-4.
Tanner Kirk gave the Shockers one more chance to tie the game in the top of the ninth with a double to center field but a fly out by Mucah to shortstop and a fly out by Bayliff to center wouldn’t be enough for Wichita State.
The Shockers and Salukis will play game two of the series on Saturday at Abe Martin Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.