Salukis walkoff Edwardsville on single in extras


SIU baseball (28-21) got its sixth walkoff win of the year on Tuesday night against the SIU Edwardsville Cougars (24-23). Matt Schark came through with the game-winning hit in the tenth inning to get the victory for the Dawgs. This pushes the team to a three-game winning streak after winning the last two games of their weekend series versus Valparaiso.

Southern jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after two innings. Pier-Boucher Olivier singled in his first at-bat which would be the first of his three-hit game. He came around to score on a single by Ryan Rodriguez after stealing a base. A Cole Christman base hit was sandwiched between a ground-rule double from Steven Loden that plated Rodriguez in the first.

Mathieu Vallee almost scored the third run by himself in the second inning. He led off the frame with a single to second, then swiped second and third base, and was brought home on another single, this time from Matt Schark who had the game-winning knock later on.


Easton Dermody got the start for SIU and delivered a quality one, going six innings while allowing three earned runs, seven hits, seven strikeouts, and only walking one batter. He began the game with two clean frames, but a story of this game was the Cougars’ resilience. They came back from multiple run leads, and it began in the third.

A leadoff double in the top of the third came around to score on a single. Then the following batter, Avery Owusu-Asiedu, tied the game at 3 for Edwardsville on a homer to straightaway center. He had a huge day for SIUE, going 4-for-5 at the dish with 4 RBI. The starters settled in afterwards, as the matchup remained knotted at 3 until the seventh. 

Matthew Steidl pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Dermody, including striking out two batters. In the bottom half, Boucher was hit by a pitch with two outs and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then scored the go-ahead run when Rodriguez doubled him in and put the Dawgs up 4-3. Steidl had a shutdown frame in the top of the eighth and Southern added insurance in the bottom half on a solo blast from Loden, his sixteenth of the year.

Steidl went back out for the ninth to attempt a three-inning save, but the Cougars stayed alive and rallied in the final frame. Three singles, including one that didn’t leave the infield, loaded the bases with one out. Steidl struck out the next batter to force Edwardsville into needing a hit to tie the game. But Owusu-Asiedu delivered, stroking a clutch single down the right-field line to square things up at 5. 

A single from Kaeber Rog and a double from Boucher set things up nicely for SIU in the bottom of the ninth, but they couldn’t capitalize. The Cougars opted not to pitch to Rodriguez, and he was intentionally walked to load the bases. But they escaped the jam by getting a strikeout and flyout to send the game to extras.

Paul Bonzagni pitched the 10th and struck out two Cougars in a scoreless inning of work. In the bottom half of the inning, Loden reached on a throwing error to begin the frame. After a fielder’s choice, Vallee hit his second single and moved up to second on the throw while Nathan Bandy moved to third. Matt Schark then singled down the line in left to plate Bandy and win the game for the Salukis.

The Dawg’s final home series against the Missouri State Bears (29-17) will be another good measuring stick here at the end of the season and huge for the standings. They sit three games back of the Bears in conference play and the series’ winner would earn the tiebreaker between the two clubs. It kicks off at 6pm on Friday at Itchy Jones Stadium.


Sports reporter Howard Woodard can be reached at [email protected].

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