Offense responds against Arkansas State

By Gus Bode

After struggling to get hits with runners in scoring position against Illinois Tuesday, the SIU baseball team responded in a big way.

The Salukis (14-11) crushed Arkansas State 10-3 Wednesday in Jonesboro, Ark. The team earned the blowout by knocking in seven runs on eight hits in the fourth inning to set the tone early.

Sophomore right fielder Aaron Roberts had his best game of the season with a 3-for-5 night that included four RBIs.

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Senior third baseman Tyler Lairson went 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI.

The Indians (14-15) never had a chance to get in the game because junior starting pitcher Andrew Dunn retired 11 of the first 13 batters he faced.

Dunn, who is now 2-3 on the season, scattered two runs over five innings while striking out three.

The bullpen also responded with a strong performance as three relievers combined to toss the final four innings allowing only one unearned run.

Freshman pitcher Nick Rice was one of Saluki coach Dan Callahan’s options to start Wednesday but he came in for Dunn in the sixth. He tossed a pair of scoreless innings.

SIU will be back in action 2 p.m. Friday at Abe Martin Field against Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Matt Hartwig can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 282 or at [email protected]

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