Freshman right-hander Sam Coonrod’s pitching could have given the Salukis a victory Saturday, but the bullpen couldn’t keep Dallas Baptist off the board as the Salukis squandered their chance to avoid a sweep.
Sophomore relievers Tyler Dray and Todd Eaton combined to give up six runs in the bottom of the eighth as Dallas Baptist (24-10) came back to beat the Salukis (18-18, 5-4 Missouri Valley Conference) 11-6 Saturday at Patriot Field in Dallas, Texas, to complete the series sweep. The Patriots scored double-digits in all three games, as they beat the Salukis 11-8 Thursday and 12-8 Friday.
The Patriots torched Saluki junior left-hander Cody Forsythe (2-1, 3.90 ERA) for eight earned runs in five innings in Thursday’s series opener even though Aaron Snyder (1-3, 4.08 ERA) took the loss in relief. Snyder gave up three earned runs over two and two-thirds innings.
Senior right-hander Cameron Maldonado (5-1, 6.00 ERA) didn’t fare any better Friday, as he gave up eight earned runs over two innings in his shortest outing of the season. Sophomore right-hander Lee Weld pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first appearance since a shoulder surgery sidelined him for the entire 2011 season.
Junior outfielder Nick Johnson went 4-for-4 Friday, all singles, with three RBIs.
Dallas Baptist hit nine home runs against the Salukis over three games, including three from senior infielder Joel Hutter, who has six this season.
Saluki junior first baseman Chris Serritella had two home runs of his own over the weekend to bring his total to a conference-best 10 this season. He also notched five RBIs in the series.
SIU continued to improve defensively, as the team committed two errors in the series against Dallas Baptist. The Salukis still lead the Valley with 76 this season, 32 more than the next team on the list (Missouri State).
The Salukis return home to play Tennessee-Martin on Wednesday. SIU lost 9-4 when the two teams met Feb. 21 in Martin, Tenn. Coach Ken Henderson said junior left-hander Nathan Dorris (4-3, 5.77 ERA) will be the likely starter.