Daily Egyptian

Salukis fall short against Governors

By Ted Ward, @TedWard_DE

SIU baseball had a rough night on the diamond Tuesday, losing 16-10 to Austin Peay.

The Salukis (14-9-1) never led in the game and fell behind by as many as 13 runs while giving up 22 hits.

“It was just a bad game for us all around,” coach Ken Henderson said. “They’re one of the better offensive teams in the country, and we knew that coming. We didn’t execute pitches and when you make mistakes, they’ll make you pay. 

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Senior pitcher Bryce Sablotny (2-2 5.62 ERA) suffered the loss for SIU after giving up seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. APSU junior starting pitcher Caleb Powell (3-1, 3.27 ERA) earned the win after pitching just two innings.

The Governors got on the board two batters into the game after senior outfielder Clayton Smithson tripled to left field and later scored on a sacrifice fly.

Austin Peay stretched the lead to 13 after an eight-run eighth with two home runs.

SIU mounted a rally in the bottom of the eighth, scoring six runs in the inning and one more in the ninth to pull within six, but couldn’t overcome the deficit.

“We were down big at that point and guys just started to relax and see the ball, which is good, but we need to do that every at-bat,” junior outfielder Dyllin Mucha said. “It’s a learning experience and guys just gotta keep the pressure off and take good swings.”

The game saw the 2016 debuts of two SIU pitchers.

Senior Alex Lesiak and freshman Austin Covers combined to give up five runs in three innings of work.

“Those guys hadn’t pitched in a long time, so to get them in there and give them work was encouraging to see,” Henderson said. “Mitch [Townsend] hadn’t gotten a lot of innings recently either, so to have him go in and pitch well was good.”

Sophomore infielder Greg Lambert, who went 3-4 with three runs batted in, said he believes the team will bounce back from the loss.

“We’re focused on Murray State coming up right now,” he said. “We’ll forget about this game as soon as the scoreboard shuts off and get back at it to get a win on Friday.”

The Salukis host Murray State at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Itchy Jones Stadium. Junior Connor McFadden will start.

Ted Ward can be reached at [email protected] or 618-534-3303

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