SIU baseball hosts Arkansas State in midweek matchup

By Gus Bode

While the SIU baseball team’s midweek games do not count in the Missouri Valley Conference standings, it does not make the games any less significant to the Salukis.

SIU (10-13) will host Arkansas State (9-11) at 3 p.m. today at Abe Martin Field, and junior pitcher Bryant George said the Salukis would not be taking the Red Wolves – or any remaining midweek opponents – lightly.

‘You can’t blow them off because every game is important,’ George said. ‘A game midweek means the same thing as a game in the Valley. You don’t play uniforms; you play the game.’


SIU boasts a 15-11 record in midweek games in the 2007 and 2008 seasons, including an 11-4 record in last year’s midweek tilts.

Associate head coach Ken Henderson echoed George’s stance on midweek games and added the games are helpful in ironing out the team’s wrinkles.

‘They’re just as important, because every game is important,’ Henderson said. ‘It does set the tone for the following weekend, and it’s a great opportunity to go out and continue to work on the little things.’

George closed out SIU’s 10-3 win over Arkansas State last season, throwing one perfect inning and needed only nine pitches to do so.

In that April 2, 2008, midweek meeting in Jonesboro, Ark., the Salukis’ offensive attack was led by Aaron Roberts, who went 3-for-5 with a triple, a run scored and four RBIs.

Roberts, a junior right fielder, has struggled recently at the plate, going 0-for-13 since his four-hit game on March 17 at Middle Tennessee, though he has worked pitchers with long at-bats.

The Salukis, however, have not missed a beat with Roberts going hitless in the stretch.


SIU swept three games from Northern Iowa last weekend at Abe Martin Field, getting three RBIs from senior catcher Mark Kelly and four hits from sophomore center fielder Chris Murphy in Saturday’s win.

In last year’s game at Arkansas State, both Kelly and Murphy went 1-for-5 with an RBI.

After today’s game against the Red Wolves, the Salukis will begin a three-game set Friday at Creighton, but Henderson said the first focus is to set the tone for that series today and extend the three-game winning streak.

‘We’ll worry about Creighton on Friday, but we’re focused on Arkansas State,’ Henderson said. ‘We’re going to try to win that game and keep our roll going.’