Salukis pummel UIC, sweep weekend series


Corrin Hunt | @CorrinIHunt

Salukis celebrate their win, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, during the Southern Illinois Salukis 2-0 victory against the Southeast Missouri Redhawks at Itchy Jones Stadium. (Corrin Hunt | @CorrinIHunt)

The SIU baseball team swept the UIC Flames and opened Missouri Valley Conference play undefeated this weekend.

The Dawgs started the weekend well, winning both games of an afternoon doubleheader.  

SIU won game one 6-2 with a balanced effort with strong performances from shortstop Kaeber Rog, designated hitter Bennett Eltoft, and pitchers Ben Chapman and Paul Bonzagni.


Rog’s solo home run marked his first of the season while also driving in two additional runs.  

Eltoft’s first home run came in the bottom of the seventh inning, keeping SIU just ahead of UIC.  His second homer came in the eighth and gave the Salukis a four-run cushion, which was ultimately the winning margin.

Chapman’s performance earned him the win, lasting 6.2 innings and giving up only 4 hits and one run.  Bonzagni pitched the last 2.1 innings and allowed only one run.  

SIU took game two, which featured much less offense.  SIU was held to one run through 8 innings, and the score was tied 1-1 after the top of the ninth.  

Steven Loden wouldn’t let the game go to extra innings though; he clubbed a no-doubter, walk-off, two-run homer to clinch the win.  

Jake Combs, Matthew Steidl and Scott Harper nearly shut out UIC, allowing only one run and striking out 10 batters.  

Game three would feature a hitting exhibition and a new record set by the Salukis; the Dawgs would clobber the Flames with 13 runs on 12 hits, winning 13-5.


Both teams were scoreless until Matt Schark’s three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning.  UIC would quickly answer and tie the game with a three-run homer of their own.  

The wheels fell off for UIC in the seventh inning, in which they gave up five home runs.  The Salukis started it off with three consecutive home runs; a three-run shot by Schark, and solos by Nathan Bandy and Pier-Olivier Boucher.  

Eltoft hit a double and was driven in by Loden’s second home run of the series.  Nate Lyons would walk, and Cole Christman launched a home run to help the Dawgs reach a total of 10 runs in one inning.  

These five home runs set an SIU record for the number of home runs in an inning, and the six in the game were the second-most in SIU baseball history.  

Tanner Lewis made his second start of the season and gave up 4 earned runs.  Easton Dermody and Tanner Perry finished the game for SIU, with Dermody earning the win.  

SIU will face UT Martin at home on Tuesday, March 28, with the first pitch arriving at 6 P.M.  

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Sports Reporter Ryan Grieser can be reached at [email protected]