BOONEVILLE, Miss. — Fighting Illini baseball (8-6) opened up the series over Southern Illinois (8-11) with a 3-2 win at The Plex.
With two outs and the game tied 2-2 in the eighth, Branden Comia singled home Cal Hejza for what would be the winning run in the ballgame.
Joe Glassey earned his first save of the season by working around lead-off double and keeping the Salukis off the board to give the Illini the victory.
It was Comia that started the action in the bottom of the first, when he went the opposite way for his third home run of the season, a two-run shot off the video board in right, after Danny Doligale led off with a walk.
The long ball was Comia’s 200th hit of his Illini career.
Illinois starter Riley Gowens was stellar in his start, retiring the first six batters he faced, three via the strikeout, but Southern Illinois cut the lead in half in the third with a pair of doubles in the frame to make it 2-1.
The Salukis tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth, but Gowens faced just one batter over the minimum over the final three innings of his start, racking up five strikeouts during that span. The Libertyville, Ill., native, struck out the side in the eighth to reach a career-high in innings pitched to go along with 10 strikeouts. It’s the second time this season he has fanned double-digit batters in an outing.
The Fighting Illini will be back in action tomorrow, with first pitch against Southern Illinois from The…
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