SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Southern Illinois used three home runs to defeat Wichita State 6-3 in the opening round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.
Starter Josh Smith took the loss. He went three innings and gave up four runs on seven hits. Reliever TJ McGreevy threw five shutout innings in relief.
Erik Harbutz went 1-for-4 with two RBI for the Shockers.
SIU jumped on the board in the first inning. Jake Welch led off with a single and after stealing second base, Chris Serritella singled to left field with one out to score Welch for a 1-0 lead. After Serritella stole second on a strikeout, Austin Montgomery singled to right centerfield to score Serritella for a 2-0 lead.
A Serritella home run in the third increased the lead to 3-0 and back-to-back doubles in the fourth put the Salukis in front 4-0 and chased starter Josh Smith.
Cody Forsythe pitched five perfect innings before Dayne Parker led off the sixth with a single. Tyler Baker's single moved him to third and after an infield single from Josh Halbert loaded the bases, Erik Harbutz singled to right field to drive in Parker and Baker to cut the lead to 4-2. Johnny Coy then singled through the left side to make the score 4-3.