Baseball: Unique game on tap for Salukis

By Gus Bode

Anyone prepared to make the two-hour trip to Sauget’s GCS Ballpark will likely see a different brand of college baseball.

The SIU baseball team will take on Missouri at 6:30 p.m. today. Both teams will use wood bats as opposed to aluminum in the non-conference tilt.

GCS Ballpark is home to the Gateway Grizzlies of the Frontier League and was built prior to the 2002 season under the GMC Stadium name. In 2006, the park was named by minorleaguenews.com as the 10th best in the country. It also increased its seating capacity to 6,000.

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“Missouri has had a pretty good run in the last four or five years so it will be a competitive game and we’re going to be in for a battle.” – Dan Callahan Saluki baseball coach

“It’s constructed more for wood bat games and that’s something different but we use wood bats most of the fall,” Saluki coach Dan Callahan said. “The pro people want to see this so it’s something were semi-used to.”

This isn’t the first time SIU (21-8, 4-2) played in Sauget, however. Last season, 2006, the Salukis defeated the Billikens 5-2 and will take on Saint Louis again April 25 at 7 p.m.

Today, SIU will take on Missouri (22-8, 4-2) who has a 14-game winning streak this season. But after dropping three straight, the Tigers have picked up two wins in a row against Kansas.

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Senior Stephan Holst will likely take the mound for Mizzou. Holst has a 1-0 record with a 3.44 ERA this season and lost his last start to Creighton March 27.

On offense, the Tigers feature sophomore outfielder Ryan Lollis. Lollis leads Mizzou with 38 hits and 31 RBI.

“Missouri has had a pretty good run in the last four or five years so it will be a competitive game and we’re going to be in for a battle,” Callahan said.

Saluki junior left fielder Dean Cademartori should help sophomore catcher Mark Kelly carry the load offensively. Cademartori walked in the tying run and knocked home the go-ahead run in the 11th en route to the Salukis’ 8-5 win against Evansville Sunday.

On the mound, freshman Tyler Choate will make his fourth start of the season. In his March 28 start against Tennessee-Martin, Choate struggled out of the gate, allowing four runs in two-thirds of an inning.

In Saturday’s 14-2 loss to Evansville, Choate threw two scoreless innings in relief – he has a 2-1 record and a 3.50 ERA this season.

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