Sycamores shut down Salukis to even series

Sycamores shut down Salukis to even series

By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

If you blinked, you might have missed it, but Indiana State evened its weekend series with Southern Illinois behind a dominant performance from junior starter Ryan Keaffaber on Saturday.

Keaffaber (4-2, 2.66 ERA) was economical on the mound, using pinpoint control and a sharp 12-6 curveball to dispose of the Dawgs in a 3-0 win that took just two hours and four minutes. He held SIU scoreless on three hits in nine innings of work with four strikeouts and one walk.

“He was just throwing all three pitches for strikes where he wanted to,” Saluki sophomore first baseman Logan Blackfan said. “He was executing his pitches and making it tough on us. We just didn’t adjust to what he was doing. We tip our hat to him – he pitched a good game, but we just didn’t adjust to his pitches.”

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Saluki junior righty Chad Whitmer (3-1, 2.49 ERA) took the loss, allowing three runs, two of them earned, on nine hits in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out one batter and walked none.

Junior right fielder Hunter Owen provided all the offense Keaffaber would need with an RBI double in the third. Junior center fielder Tony Rosselli and sophomore shortstop Tyler Friis added RBI singles in the fourth.

Sophomore first baseman Logan Blackfan’s two-out double in the seventh inning was the Salukis’ only extra-base hit.

Sophomore right-hander Michael Baird (5-1, 1.88 ERA) will take the mound for the Salukis at 1 p.m. in Sunday’s rubber match. The Sycamores will counter with freshman righty Tyler Ward (3-3, 3.55).

“Our goal is to win every series,” coach Ken Henderson said. “It’s hard to sweep, but we still have that goal in front of us. I expect our guys to play hard, and it’ll be a good game.”

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307.

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