Southern Illinois pushed three runs across the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning and added four more in the seventh as the Salukis defeated Valparaiso 7-0 in Carbondale, Ill.
Both pitchers sailed along for the first five innings. Southern Illinois' Cody Adams allowed a first inning single to Michael Arensdorff (Eldridge, Iowa/North Scott H.S.) and an infield hit to Jason Brunelli (Greenfield, Wis./Greenfield H.S.), but that would be it for the Crusaders on the afternoon.
Valpo's Nick Mazzone (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North H.S.) surrendered just two hits in the first five innings as well. Mark Kelly broke the scoreless tie for Southern Illinois with a RBI single and Michael Finiga added an infield hit to make it 2-0 in the sixth. A bases loaded walk finished the hosts scoring in the inning.
Southern Illinois (22-9) added four more runs in the seventh. Two unearned runs combined with an Adam Hills two-run single completed the insurance runs for the Salukis.
Mazzone finished the game working 5.2 innings, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out three, suffering the loss (1-4). Adams (8-1) allowed just the two hits and three total baserunners in the complete game shutout, striking out 10 on the day.
Valparaiso (8-16) will return home on Tuesday afternoon as the Crusaders host Indiana State. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field.