Daily Egyptian

Saluki bats cool off in loss

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

Not much went right for Saluki baseball in a 7-1 loss to Arkansas State.

The Salukis had four hits all game and couldn’t solve the Redwolves pitching.

“We didn’t come out with a lot energy today and didn’t battle,” coach Ken Henderson said. “We were lethargic and slow and couldn’t get it done.” 

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ASU freshman pitcher Peyton Culbertson (2-0, 4.64 ERA) earned the win, holding SIU to one run in six innings. Senior pitcher Bryce Sablotny (3-4, 5.52 ERA) suffered the loss, giving up three runs on five hits in three innings — his shortest outing of the season. 

SIU scored its only run in the fourth when sophomore left fielder Greg Lambert, who reached on a double, scored on a fielding error on the shortstop. 

The Salukis trailed 3-1 in the sixth before the Redwolves scored two more when Lambert lost a fly ball in the sun.

Trailing 5-1 in the fifth, SIU squandered its best scoring chance with two runners on and sophomore first baseman Logan Blackfan batting. Blackfan was called out on strikes to end the inning.

“We had a chance to get back in it but we didn’t take very good swings all game,” Henderson said. “We couldn’t get batters out with two strikes and we didn’t bring a lot of energy today.”

A scary moment happened in the top of the fifth when sophomore outfielder Jake Hand ran full speed into the outfield wall going after a foul ball. However, he finished the game.

“I knew the ball was over my head so I started sprinting towards the wall and reached back, caught it and hit the wall on my side knocking the wind out of me. My first thought was holding on to it and with a runner on first I flipped it to [Dyllin] Mucha to get the ball back in.” Hand said. “The trainer kept saying don’t lie to me if you’re not OK, but luckily there was no lasting damage but some eye black paint on the outfield wall.”

Blackfan struck out looking to end the game on a pitch that caught the outside corner. He glared at the umpire and into the dugout before walking away.

SIU starts a road trip with a three-game series against Illinois State starting at 6 p.m. on Friday in Normal.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or 618-534-3303

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