CARBONDALE, Il - The Salukis of Southern Illinois (11-13) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and kept Arkansas State (9-12) off the scoreboard until the eighth to defeat the Red Wolves 10-3 Tuesday afternoon at Abe Martin Field.
Southern Illinois starter Jimmy Cornell (1-1) kept ASU off-balance with five shutout innings, striking out eight and walking one along the way to get the win. Sophomore Drew Benes (2-3) took the loss for the Red Wolves, giving up five runs on eight hits in three innings of work. Benes struck out one and did not issue a walk.
"We got down 5-0 and I thought Cornell did a great job of not giving us an open door," said ASU Head Coach Tommy Raffo.
Southern Illinois got on the board when the Salukis scored a pair of two-out runs in the second. An RBI double from catcher Tyler Bullock sent home the first run and third baseman Tony Lepore drove in the second with a base hit for the 2-0 SIU advantage.
The Salukis made it 5-0 in the third when Bullock followed up an RBI single from designated hitter Chris Serritella with a two-run home run, and SIU added four more in the seventh to make it 9-0 before ASU got on the board in the eighth.
Right fielder Derrick Coleman and pinch-hitter Danny Riemenschneider each drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth to cut the Southern Illinois lead to 9-2.
The Salukis answered the Red Wolves with a single run in the bottom of the eighth to stretch their lead to 10-2, and Arkansas State managed a run in the ninth when center fielder Todd Baumgartner reached on a fielder's choice to drive in a run and set the final at 10-3.
Third baseman Guy Brown led ASU at the plate with a 3-for-5 effort while first baseman Mark Kelly went 3-for-3 to lead Southern Illinois.
The Red Wolves return to action Friday when Arkansas State opens a three-game Sun Belt Conference series at home against South Alabama. Game time is set for 6:00 p.m. at Tomlinson Stadium and Kell Field.