Daily Egyptian

Redbirds salvage a game as Dawgs waste gem

By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

SIU sophomore pitcher Michael Baird turned in a gem Sunday, but his teammates could not figure out Illinois State pitching in a 1-0 loss.

Redbird senior lefty Jacob Hendren entered the game 1-7 on the season with a 7.21 ERA, but held the Salukis scoreless in Bloomington on three hits with three strikeouts and three walks in seven innings to deny the Dawgs a weekend sweep. Hendren earned the win and lowered his ERA to 6.31.

Baird (6-3, 1.73 ERA) pitched eight innings, allowing a lone run on three hits with four strikeouts and one walk. He retired 13 straight Redbirds after a one-out single by senior center fielder Daniel Dwyer in the first inning.

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SIU sophomore left fielder Greg Lambert had the game’s only extra-base hit, a sixth-inning double that put runners at second and third with one out. The Salukis (23-17-1, 4-5 Missouri Valley Conference) failed to capitalize, as sophomore first baseman Logan Blackfan grounded back to Hendren and sophomore designated hitter Drew Curtis flied out to left.

“We gave away too many at-bats early and did not have good approaches,” coach Ken Henderson said to Saluki Athletics. “We were better from the fifth inning on, but we just couldn’t get anything to fall.”

Baird’s only hiccup came in the bottom of the sixth, when a walk and two base hits brought in the game’s only run. Freshman shortstop Owen Miller drove home the run with a one-out single to left field.

“[Baird] was outstanding again for us,” Henderson said. “He held them to one run, and you can’t do much better than that. We just have to find a way to get runs when you have a guy pitching like that.”

Illinois State (11-27, 2-6 MVC) picked up its second conference win of the year. Junior closer Jack Landwehr picked up his third save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Dwyer and junior catcher Danny Jackson collected a game-high two hits each for Illinois State.

The Salukis’ next game will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Southeast Missouri State.

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

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