Hilltoppers Drop Series Opener to Southern Illinois, 6-1

By: Kyle Allen - WKU Athletic Media Relations
By: Kyle Allen - WKU Athletic Media Relations

CARBONDALE, Ill. - The WKU baseball team evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning on Sunday at Abe Martin Field in Carbondale, Ill., but Southern Illinois would score the game’s next five runs to win the opener of the two-game series, 6-1.

The Salukis took advantage of four WKU errors on the day, as four of the six Southern Illinois runs were unearned. The four errors were the most for a Hilltopper squad since committing four back on March 7 of last season against Evansville.

Southern Illinois scored in four different innings on Sunday, including scoring a pair of runs in the fourth and seventh innings. The Hilltoppers evened the score on a Ryan Huck RBI-single in the fourth, but Southern Illinois responded with runs of its own in the bottom-half of the fourth to re-take the lead at 3-1. Huck’s RBI was the 84th of his career, and his fourth in his last two games. Sunday’s game was also the 150th career game for the senior first baseman, who went 2-for-4 with a double.

Catcher Devin Kelly, who put together his third consecutive multi-hit game and the 10th of his career, finished his afternoon going 2-for-4 with a double. Kelly and Huck were the lone Hilltoppers with multiple hits on Sunday.

Southern Illinois starter Sam Coonrod (1-0) held WKU in check throughout, working six innings, allowing just one run off four hits, while striking out three.

WKU starting pitcher Andrew Edwards (0-1) worked a season-high five innings, giving up just two earned runs on five hits, while striking out four. Edwards gave way to Austin Clay, who lasted two innings, allowing no earned runs on just one hit. Clay has now worked a team-high 15.2 innings on the year, with all of his innings coming out of the Hilltopper bullpen.

Sunday’s loss is the third-straight for WKU and drops the Hilltoppers to 3-6 on the year. The Hilltoppers have not lost more than three games in a row since the 2011 season.

WKU will look to get back in the win column as the Hilltoppers and Southern Illinois will wrap up a two-game series on Monday at 1:00 PM (CT), marking WKU’s first game on a Monday since the 2006 season. Left-handed senior Tim Bado will get the start for the Hilltoppers, making his third start of the 2013 season.

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