Hutter Slams Salukis, Patriots Sweep Series

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Box Score

Dallas Baptist (24-10) scored 11 runs on only eight hits Saturday afternoon at Patriot Field thanks in part to nine walks by Southern Illinois (18-18) pitchers. It was two hits, however, that played the biggest part in the game for DBU – a Ronnie Mitchell single in the ninth to give DBU the lead and then a Joel Hutter grandslam two batters later to put the game out of reach. Stuart Pudenz (4-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen with 1.2 innings of work while Tyler Rockafellow threw 1.1 solid innings without allowing a run of his own. He did allow one of Jake Johansen‘s inherited runners to score on a sacrifice fly but did not allow a hit. Each of those three players were in relief of Andrew Elkins who started and allowed only two runs on an afternoon that saw a very strong wind blowing out to left field.

For the third straight game, SIU took an early lead on a solo homerun by Chris Serritella in the first inning. DBU tied the score in the bottom of the inning, however, as Austin Elkins singled to shortstop and later scored on a Hutter sacrifice fly, the first of his six RBI on the day. The Salukis would retake the lead in the second with two doubles and the score would remain 2-1 to the fourth.

Elkins would not allow another run on the afternoon and the Patriots tied the score at two when Landon Andersonsingled, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third, and scored on a Jaime Garrido two-out single.

That would be the last run of the afternoon until the seventh inning when SIU scored three. Johansen came on to pitch for Elkins and walked the first hitter he faced. After an error by Johansen, a double, and a single, Johansen was lifted for Rockafellow who gave up the sacrifice fly to his first batter before getting two groundouts to end the inning with no further damage.

But the SIU lead did not last long. With one out in the seventh, Austin Elkins reached on a dropped third strike beforeRonnie Mitchell grounded into what could have been an inning-ending double play but the ball was bobbled by third baseman Austin Montgomery and both runners were safe. Collins then walked for the second of his three free passes on the afternoon  ahead of a Hutter sacrifice fly to cut the lead to two. Michael Miller then singled up the middle with two outs to score two runs and the score was knotted at six apiece through seven.

DBU would blow it open in the eighth. Duncan McAlpine drew a lead off walk before being sacrificed to second by Garrido. KJ Alexander, a pinch hitter, also walked as did Elkins to load the bases. Mitchell then singled to center to give the Patriots the lead and keep the bases loaded for Boomer Collins to drive in a run with a walk of his own. The next batter was Hutter and he got a 2-1 fastball and drove it deep over the left-center wall for his second grandslam of the year and 35th RBI through 34 games. Pudenz would stay on the mound for the ninth, give up two doubles in the inning, but finish the game with a 6-4-3 double play to preserve the sweep.

DBU will take the field again on Tuesday as they welcome Texas Southern to Patriot Field for a two-game set beginning at 6:30. Live audio will be available on beginning at 6:10 on Tuesday night.

Coach Heefner Postgame Interview