Salukis win sixth in a row, defeat SEMO


Corrin Hunt

Southern Illinois freshman infielder Grey Epps (5) raises his glove after a play at third base, Saturday, April 7, 2018, during the Valparaiso University Crusaders 6-2 victory against the Southern Illinois Salukis at Itchy Jones Stadium. (Corrin Hunt | @CorrinIHunt)

SIU got the job done in the middle innings and sealed yet another victory at Itchy Jones Stadium

The Dawgs, playing in front of a raucous home crowd, beat SEMO 8-5 to improve to 20-13 on the year and extend their winning streak to six games.  

Jake Combs was given the ball and lasted 4.1 innings while giving up one earned run, striking out four, and allowing four hits.  Matthew Steidl replaced him on the mound, and after some early struggles, pulled it together to earn the win. Steidl struck out four and gave up three earned runs on three hits.  


Easton Dermody saw time on the mound before being replaced by Scott Harper, who earned the save after tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless and hitless ball.

SIU had yet another strong offensive performance, buoyed by Cole Christman’s 3-3 night in which he drove in one run and hit two doubles. Ryan Rodriguez and Steven Loden also hit two doubles.  Loden’s RBI marked number 34 on the year, which is second in the MVC.  

Loden’s second-inning line drive double that brought Kaeber Rog home opened up the scoring for the evening, while his second double during the bottom of the fourth set him up in scoring position.  Loden advanced to third on a passed ball, and Bennett Eltoft brought him home on a short single along the first base line.  

Rodriguez opened the fifth with a 1-0 double to right center, which Christman followed up with a 1-0 single.  Rog advanced both runners before Loden’s sacrifice fly sent Rodriguez home.  Eltoft singled to first base and bought enough time for Christman to make it home too.  

The sixth inning was the last inning in which the Dawgs would score, but it also was their most productive.  Nathan Bandy walked, advanced to second off another passed ball, and scored off of Rodriguez’s long double. Christman’s left-field-line double scored Rodriguez before Rog’s single brought him home as well.  

Though SEMO managed runs in both the seventh and eighth inning, it wasn’t enough.  The Dawgs’ barrage of powerfully hit and well-placed balls to the outfield was too much for the Redhawks to handle.  SEMO will have another chance at SIU when they meet again in Cape Girardeau on April 25.  

SIU will continue its long homestand with an alumni weekend series vs Evansville, with games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  SIU legend Dan Callahan’s jersey will be retired in a ceremony on Saturday, and Sunday’s game will air on ESPNU.  


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