A one-time teammate became a frustrating nemesis Saturday for Wichita State, as Southern Illinois’ Cameron Maldonado shook off a rocky start and went the distance in a 10-3 victory at Eck Stadium.
Maldonado (3-0) surrendered single runs in each of the first three innings, but allowed just a fifth-inning single to Kevin Hall the rest of the way. Even then, SIU erased Hall on a double play.
“I just try to throw strikes and let the team do the work,” Maldonado said. “They did a great job.”
Maldonado transferred from WSU to Seward County Community College, then to SIU. Returning to Eck Stadium is special, even if you’re the opposition, he said.
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“I just try to approach it like any other team, but it is kind of hard with this atmosphere, and against my old team, but it’s a great win for us,” Maldonado said.
Shockers starter Mitch Mormann retired the first 10 Salukis, but everything changed in the fifth.
Jordan Sivertsen smashed a 1-0 pitch over the center-field wall for SIU’s first run, and Mormann wasn’t the same after that.
“He kind of unraveled at that point, and that’s a shame, because he was throwing pretty good to that point,” Shockers coach Gene Stephenson said. “From that point on, for the next couple of innings, we had no idea at all about how to pitch.”
After the homer, Brock Harding and Nick Johnson hit line-drive singles. Mormann got two outs before Jake Welch tied the game with a triple to deep right-center. A walk to Donny Duschinsky put runners at first and third, and T.J. McGreevy came in and struck out Chris Serritella on three off-speed pitches.
But McGreevy (0-2) ran into trouble in the next inning, when the Salukis scored five more runs for an 8-3 lead.
“The five-spot they put up in the sixth pretty well did it,” Stephenson said.
Credit the Salukis’ offense, SIU coach Ken Henderson said.
“Our offense did a great job, and they hit some balls hard, and if one guy didn’t do it, the next guy would pick him up,” he said.
In the meantime, Maldonado settled down. He issued no walks and struck out five, but more than that he had the Shockers essentially hitting his pitches all day.
The Shockers need to find their hitting stroke – and fast, Stephenson said.
“There’s a real offensive problem, and if we don’t get it solved quickly, we’re going to be out of the (Missouri Valley Conference) race before we get started,” he said.
Shockers right fielder Don Lambert got hits in his first two at-bats, but left the game in the fourth after suffering a groin injury.
abrhbibbsoavgWelch 2b5`02302.320Duschinsky ss300020.306Serritella 1b512003.378Montgomery 3b511001.364Sivertsen lf433110.272Harding dh524400.343Johnson rf421010.224Bajer c500003.213Troggio cf411201.306Totals40101410410.296
WICHITA STATEHall cf412002.282Parker 2b300000.319Lambert rf212000.342Green rf200000.243Coy dh400100.330Gillaspie 1b400000.234Harbutz ss311000.278Mucha lf300001.231Arens c201101.200Knight ph100001.286Hege c000000.235Halbert 3b300000.188Totals3136205.280
000035101—10Wichita St.111000000— 3
E — Duschinsky. DP — SIU 2. LOB — SIU 7, WSU 2. 2B — Welch (4), Serritella (11), Sivertsen (6), Harding (3), Harbutz (5). 3B — Welch (1), Troggio (1). HR — Sivertsen (3). SH — Parker (3). SB — Lambert (10).
iphrerbbsoeraMaldonado W,4-09632054.60Wichita StateMormann4 2/3533243.47McGreevy L,0-22/3455128.22LaBrie1 2/3211116.30Bouman1000021.93Vail1311012.45
Balk — Maldonado. Umpires — home, Chris Perry; first, Greg Harmon; third, Bill McGuire. T — 2:19. A — 3,146.