By: Matthew Schneider
On Friday afternoon the Salukis (5-3) took on the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-4) at Itchy Jones Stadium in in Carbondale. This matchup is one that we don’t see too often because the last time these two teams went off was in Florida all the way back in 2009. Joey Marciano the left hander was on the mound for the Salukis and in his last outing took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Western Illinois. C.J. Eldred is the starting pitcher for the Hawkeyes and he came into the game on Friday with 2.00 era. Southern Illinois was able to win this game 2-1 but it took longer than 9 innings as it took a sac fly for the Salukis in the bottom of the eleventh to pull this game out.
Despite this Saluki offense producing very well so far in this season it was the pitchers for Southern Illinois and Iowa that were dominant in this matchup. The Saluki Starter Joey Marciano had another great game. He finished the game pitching seven and one-thirds innings giving up no runs on only two hits and he walked four. He also struck out seven Hawkeyes. With a performance like that you would think that Southern Illinois would have no problem winning this game but C.J. Eldred was even better. He didn’t allow a hit until the eighth when Hunter Anderson hit an infield single up the middle. C.J. Eldred went nine innings gave up only two hits while walking one and striking out four Saluki hitters. Both starters were so dominant that it came down to some smart hitting and of course relief pitching were going to be key going into extra innings.
The top of the tenth was finally when we saw the first run come across as third baseman Mason McCoy drove in Corbin Woods off of Saluki pitcher Ryan Netemeyer to make it 1-0 heading to the bottom of the tenth. In the bottom of the tenth saw Jake Hand lead off the inning with a single to left field. Eldred the staring pitcher was finally pulled for Zach Daniels after Eldred gave up the single to Hand. With two outs now and Hand at third base pinch-hitter Ryan Smith took a first-pitch fastball right up the middle for a two-out single to tie the game at one. Anthony Shimkus came on for Southern Illinois at the top of the eleventh at sent Iowa down in order. Iowa brought in Tyler Radtke to try and stop SIU in the bottom half of the eleventh. The first batter Radtke saw was third baseman Ryan Sabo and he hit him in the arm to send him to first base. SS Will Farmer was up next for SIU and he was showing bunt. He then pulled back his bat and swung and drove the ball into the right-center field gap for a double that put Ryan Sabo at third for nobody out. Then with one out Dyllin Mucha hit a sac fly into centerfield for a walk-off win.
This game despite playing two extra innings was a quick as it finished just over three hours. Tyler Radtke (0-1) picked up the loss and Anthony Shimkus (3-0) got the win for the Salukis. Iowa will play the Salukis this weekend and then head home for the next week. Southern Illinois will go travel to Belmont on Tuesday before they come back to Carbondale to face St. Johns for the weekend.