Daily Egyptian

Saluki baseball makes it eight of nine with series-opening win

Junior pitcher Joey Marciano throws a pitch during SIU’s 6-3 win against St. John’s on March 11, 2016 at Itchy Jones Stadium. Marciano pitched five innings and had three strikeouts during the game. (Jacob Wiegand
| @jawiegandphoto)

Junior pitcher Joey Marciano throws a pitch during SIU’s 6-3 win against St. John’s on March 11, 2016 at Itchy Jones Stadium. Marciano pitched five innings and had three strikeouts during the game. (Jacob Wiegand | @jawiegandphoto)

By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

A team effort earned Southern Illinois its ninth win of the season Friday night.

Seven different Dawgs collected hits, and four pitchers combined to keep St. John’s (5-7) at bay in a 6-3 SIU (9-4) win.

Junior left-hander Joey Marciano allowed three runs on seven hits, his first runs allowed since the first inning of the Salukis’ season.

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The SIU bullpen provided four innings of shutout, two-hit relief, led by two and a third innings by freshman left-hander Seth Hackett.

“My off-speed was working really good,” Hackett said. “My changeup was getting guys off balance, and that made my fastball work even better.”

Sophomore closer Ryan Netemeyer collected his third save of the year, striking out two batters after allowing a leadoff double in the ninth.

Marciano (2-1, 2.38 earned run average) earned the win. St. John’s senior right-hander Joey Christopher (0-2, 7.62 ERA) took the loss.

The Salukis struck first with a four-run third inning highlighted by junior right fielder Jake Hand’s two-run single.

Eight of SIU’s nine starters had either a base hit or a run batted in. Sophomore second baseman Connor Kopach’s fourth-inning RBI triple was the Salukis’ only extra-base hit. 

“You earn confidence,” coach Ken Henderson said. “Nobody gives it to you, and our guys have earned it. They’ve earned the right to believe. We’ll come out tomorrow and try to win another one.”

Henderson will send junior right-hander Chad Whitmer (1-0, 2.70 ERA) to the mound Saturday to face Red Storm junior lefty Joe Nellis (0-2, 7.11 ERA). First pitch will be at noon at Itchy Jones Stadium.

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

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