Forsythe, Salukis shut down Wichita State with 5-1 first round win
NORMAL, Ill. - Seventh-seeded Southern Illinois knocked off Wichita State with a 5-1 first round victory over the No. 2 seed Shockers in the first round of the Missouri Valley Tournament Tuesday afternoon at Duffy Bass Field. It is the second year in a row that the lower seeded Salukis (25-31, 6-15 MVC) beat Wichita State (34-26, 15-6 MVC) in the first round of the tournament.
Cody Forsythe was dominant in a complete game performance. It was the seventh of his career and the first by a Saluki this season.>Cody Forsythe was dominant in a complete game performance. It was the seventh of his career and the first by a Saluki this season.After he allowed a run off two hits in the second inning, Forsythe did not allow another runner past first base until the ninth.
"He was brilliant," SIU Coach Ken Henderson said of the senior. "He's thrown well against (WSU) every time out, but he was special today. He stepped up on the big stage. Of all of his great outings, that's as good as I've seen him."
With the win, Forsythe is 4-0 in five career starts against the Shockers. He struck out seven batters Tuesday to run his season mark to 4-5. Forsythe was already over 100 pitches after eight innings, but in what could potentially be his final collegiate start, there was no doubt he would go out for the ninth.
"There was no discussion at all (with Henderson)," Forsythe said with a laugh. "I don't think we talked all game. I try to keep it that way."
Southern Illinois took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth with a three-run, one-out rally. Brock Harding tied the game at 1-1 with a single to left field. Austin Montgomery scored from second base on the play, sliding in safely on a play at the plate. Rennie Troggio then scored Cody Daily and Harding with a single through the left side of the infield to give SIU its first lead of the game.
The Salukis had a group effort from the offense as five starters recorded multiple hits in the game. Southern seemed on the verge of breaking it open for much of the game but stranded 12 runners and hit into three double plays.
"It got a little frustrating because we left a small army on base," Henderson said. "We were sitting in the dugout up 3-1 and thinking it should be 6-1 or 7-1, but it was a great job by the offense. We battled all day."
The Dawgs finally added some insurance in the top of the ninth when pinch hitter Derek Trovillion started off the inning with a single. After Matt Jones' sacrifice bunt and Austin Montgomery's intentional walk, Ryan Casillas and Daily followed a double then a single to extend the lead to 5-1.
Wichita State starter Cale Elam lasted four-plus innings and surrendered three runs off eight hits. He departed after Jones led off the fifth with a single. With the loss, Elam fell to 6-4 on the year.
Tuesday's win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Salukis. Last year's team entered the tournament having lost seven consecutive conference games but flipped the switch to sweep to the championship game.
"We built on last year a little bit," Henderson said of his team following Tuesday's win. "We haven't played very well the past few weeks, but we said, we can turn it around in a week. So our kids were pretty confident coming into today."
With a well-rested bullpen heading to the second day of the double-elimination tournament, SIU will face sixth-seeded Indiana State at 4:07 p.m. on Wednesday. Sam Coonrod will get the start for SIU.