SIU sweeps the Mercer Bears

A+Saluki+baseball+staffer+inspects+a+game+ball+Saturday%2C+March+10%2C+2018%2C+during+the+Salukis%27+7-2+victory+against+the+Northern+Illinois+University+Huskies+at+Itchy+Jones+Stadium.+%28Brian+Munoz+%7C+%40BrianMMunoz%29

Brian Munoz

A Saluki baseball staffer inspects a game ball Saturday, March 10, 2018, during the Salukis’ 7-2 victory against the Northern Illinois University Huskies at Itchy Jones Stadium. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Ryan Scott, Staff Reporter

Southern Illinois baseball (7-0) swept the Mercer University Bears (3-4) in a three-game series from Feb. 26-28 on the road in Macon, Ga. 

The Salukis won their first game against the Mercer Bears on Friday 17-7. 

SIU led off the game with a double by senior infielder third baseman Ian Walters, which was followed by an RBI single from redshirt freshman Evan Martin to give the Salukis a quick 1-0 lead. 

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Senior first baseman Phillip Archer was hit by a pitch with the bases load to put the Salukis up 2-0.

After Mercer tied the game up at two, the Salukis added four runs in the second with two home runs in the inning. A two-run homerun from senior shortstop Nick Neville and a solo homerun from sophomore center fielder Tristian Peters to put the Salukis up 5-2. 

An Archer RBI double then put the Salukis up 6-2 through two innings. 

Neville once again went deep in the sixth as the Salukis added on to go up 8-2. 

Through eight innings, the Salukis lead was up to 12-7 and in the ninth they added five more runs to go up 17-7. Mercer didn’t score in the ninth, giving the Salukis the 10-run win.  

Sophomore right hander Mike Hansell went six innings and allowed two runs, while allowing six hits and getting two strikeouts and picking up the win in game one. 

Game two on Saturday was a high-scoring game as the Salukis opened up a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Walters and Martin both scored on groundouts. Junior left fielder J.T. Weber then added an RBI single to make it 3-0. 

After a Walters RBI made it 4-0, Mercer responded with a four-run bottom of the second performance to tie the game up. The game would stay tied at four until the fifth inning. 

Peters got an RBI double to give the Salukis a 5-4 lead, and then they added on even more with a three-run home run from sophomore designated hitter Vinni Massaglia to extend the lead to 8-4. 

In the seventh inning, Archer added a two-run home run to make it 10-4. Both teams would add one more run as the Salukis took game two 11-5. 

On Sunday, the Salukis would finish off the sweep over the Bears by a score of 5-2. 

Massaglia opened up the scoring in the second inning with another home run, this time a solo . 

Weber would extend the lead to three with a two-run home run in the third inning and then a Peters RBI single extended the lead to 4-0. 

The Bears would score one run in the fifth and eighth innings but weren’t able to take away Southern’s lead. SIU then added a fifth and final run in the eighth on a Walters homerun. 

Sophomore right hander Ben Chapman went seven innings and picked up the win on Sunday. 

Junior right hander Trey Mcdaniel pitched the last two innings and got his third save of the year. 

SIU will be at home on March 2 against Western Illinois as the Salukis begin their homestand that will last through April 11. 

Sports reporter Ryan Scott can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @RyanscottDE. 

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