Salukis Catch Southeast in Eighth
March 23, 2004
Carbondale, Ill. - After jumping ahead 2-0 after one inning, the Southeast Missouri State baseball team continued to stay one run ahead of Southern Illinois until the Salukis went ahead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to win it 6-5. Southeast (8-10) dropped its second game in a row after posting a season-high four-game winning streak last week.
Southeast took an early lead against SIU (4-13) Tuesday afternoon as junior Eric Horstman led the game off with a walk. After stealing a both second and third, junior designated hitter Freddy Lopez drove him in. Senior Gary Gilbert later drove in junior Frankie Montiel with a single to left field to earn his team-high 13th RBI on the season, giving the Tribe a 2-0 lead after one inning.
The Indians added another run in the second inning when Montiel brought in freshman catcher Andres Fernandez on a sacrifice fly.
The Salukis got two runs back in the bottom of the second to cut the lead to 3-2, but Southeast added another run in the third when Fernandez drove in junior outfielder Bryan Kurt with an RBI single to left center.
Again, SIU countered with another run in the bottom half in the inning off starter Stan Skakalski. When the senior lefty left the game after three innings, his team lead 4-3, with all three runs unearned.
Again, each team scored a run in the fifth inning, and Southeast maintained a one-run lead. Sophomore Aaron Fangman did the damage from the plate for Southeast, driving in Kurt with an RBI single. In the bottom half of the inning, Ryan Forsyth (1-2) allowed a run on a pair of singles and a wild pitch.
But it was the bottom of the eighth when the Salukis went ahead. With one out, Forsyth allowed the next two batters to reach base. Junior closer Brad Smith entered the game, but allowed two more singles, and with the benefit of an error, the Salukies scored a pair of runs to take a 6-5 lead. Andrew Weber came in for SIU in the top of the ninth and struck out the side to thwart any attempt at a Southeast comeback.
Gilbert finished the day 3-for-5 with an RBI. Kurt, went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Kurt is the team leader in batting average, hitting .422 thus far. Junior shortstop Ernie Bracamonte went 3-for5 to increase his season average to .286. Fernandez also increased his season average with the benefit of a 2-for-3 performance. He also scored a run and had an RBI against the Salukis. In his two starts this season, Fernandez is 3-for-6, with two runs and two RBI.
Southeast won't have to wait long to get back on the winning track. They host the Tigers of the University of Missouri tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Capaha Field. Missouri is 18-4-1 this year, and the Tigers are ranked No. 26 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America.