Bandy, Rog excel in weekend series win over Evansville

The Slugging Salukis crossed the plate 14 times each on Friday and Sunday to clinch a series victory over the Evansville Purple Aces, improving to 23-9 on the season and 4-2 in Valley play.

The series opener on Friday saw every Saluki reach base at least once, as the team combined for 17 total hits and 10 walks. Kaeber Rog and Nathan Bandy were particularly efficient from the batter’s box, combining for seven hits in 10 at bats.

However, the Salukis were trailing 3-2 entering the eighth inning, but exploded with an eight-run eighth and a four-run ninth to take Friday’s matchup 14-4.

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The Purple Aces struck back on Saturday, as their top pitcher Nick Smith held SIU to two runs in six innings, and the bullpen shut down the rest of the game to wrap up a 6-2 Evansville win.

Sunday’s finale was another example of SIU pulling away at the end of an otherwise competitive game. Despite trailing 4-0 after three innings, and 5-1 after four, the Salukis rode a six-run fifth inning to the victory, and tacked on six more in the ninth for good measure as they took the rubber match 14-5.

Bandy had the batting equivalent of a perfect game, going 5-for-5 with an RBI and coming around to score three times. Rog added a 3-for-5 day of his own, including his eighth home run of the year.

Sandwiched between two great performances by Rog was an 0-for-5 game on Saturday which broke his season-high 13-game hitting streak. Despite this, he catapulted to second in Division I in hits this season with 59, one behind the leader, Murphy Stehly of Texas. Teammate J.T. Weber is tied for sixth at 55 hits.

The Salukis now hold a 4-2 record in the young Valley season. They will make a pit stop visiting Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday before returning to Itchy Jones Stadium for a weekend stretch against Siena and SIU Edwardsville, marking the final non-conference weekend series of the season.

Staff reporter Brandyn Wilcoxen can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Brandyn_2020. To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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