MURRAY — The Murray State baseball team won in extra innings, 5-4, for the third time this season on Tuesday in Murray in the midweek game with Southern Illinois.
With the win, the Racers (27-20) split the season series with the Salukis (33-15).
Jordan Cozart was on fire at the plate, sparking the Racers’ offense the entire night. He went 4-for-6 with three RBIs, including the walk-off winner in the 11th inning.
Bryson Bloomer provided the other two runs for Murray State as he finished two hits, two RBIs and one run scored in the game.
The Racers’ pitching came up big when it needed to be, working out of four bases-loaded jams and stranding 17 SIU base runners.
Murray State and Southern Illinois are two of the NCAA’s biggest home run hitting teams, with a combined 132 homers, but with the wind blowing in, neither team hit the long ball.
The Salukis cracked the scoreboard first, scoring two runs in the second inning.
The Racers had two good threats in the third and fourth, putting runners in scoring position, but were unable to push any across until the fifth.
With one out in the fifth, five consecutive Racers reached safely. Bloomer evened the game at 2-2 with a two-RBI double to the left-field corner, and Cozart followed with a two-RBI single to right center.
Southern Illinois put up single tallies in the sixth and seventh to tie the game at 4-4.
The game remained deadlocked until the 11th. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases with nobody out for Cozart, who grounded past the diving third baseman to win it for the Racers.
The Racers used seven pitchers in the game. Cade Vernon started his fourth game of the season, going two innings and giving up two runs.
Jake Jones, Alec Whaley, Jacob Pennington and Quinton Kujawa all pitched scoreless outings for the Racers.
Pennington struck out a team-high four, and Kujawa threw the final two innings to pick up his second win of the season.
The Racers travel to SIU-Edwardsville on Friday and Saturday for their final road conference series of the season. The two teams will play a three-game series starting on Friday at 6 p.m.