Salukis win second straight conference series

By Thomas Donley, @tdonleyDE

The SIU baseball team won its second consecutive weekend series, taking two of three games from in-state conference rival, the Illinois State Redbirds.

SIU (9-31, 5-7) moved from last place into a three-way tie with ISU (18-18, 5-7) and Evansville for sixth in the MVC of eight teams.

The Salukis opened the series in dramatic fashion Friday, tying the game with a 2-run rally in the ninth, winning 7-6 on a walkoff RBI single by freshman first baseman Hunter Anderson.


SIU senior starter Aaron Hauge left the game after just 2 1/3 innings after aggravating an elbow injury that started bothering him the previous weekend.

A solo home run by ISU junior second baseman Paul DeJong, the MVC’s leading hitter, extended the Redbird lead to 6-4 in the ninth inning. 

Senior outfielder Parker Osborne’s second 2-run single of the game tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning against Illinois State junior reliever Ryan Koziol.

SIU junior closer Colten Selvey threw a three-up three-down 10th inning.

Anderson, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the inning, came to the plate 2 for his last 26, with runners at first and second and 2 outs. He hit the ball into center, scoring sophomore designated hitter Jake Hand.

Osborne praised Anderson’s readiness off the bench.

“It feels good to see Hunter come off then bench like that,” Osborne said. “He was ready for it, and he came through. That was exciting.”


Saluki coach Ken Henderson said Anderson’s single was a relief.

“It’s fun now,” Henderson said. “It wasn’t fun when it was going on. That was nerve wracking.”

Selvey (1-1) earned his first win of the season Friday night. Koziol dropped to 1-3.

Freshman catcher Nick Hutchins’ third career home run in the fourth inning was the 12th of the season for SIU. DeJong’s homer in the ninth was his 12th.

Koziol, who started the game at third base, and senior first baseman Mason Snyder led ISU with 2 RBIs each. Osborne’s 4 RBIs were a game high.

Starting pitching made the difference Saturday, as Redbird junior Jacob Hendren allowed 1 run through the first 8 innings in a 13-4 victory.

Hendren (7-1) allowed 4 runs on 8 hits, striking out four and walking one in 8 2/3 innings. 

In contrast, Saluki senior Bryace Sablotny (1-3) allowed 7 runs in 4 innings, capped by a grand slam by Snyder.

Henderson said he was not worried by Sablotny’s performance.

“He’s been awfully good for us this year,” Henderson said. “He just had an off day.”

Freshman reliever Colin Holderman provided 4 innings of scoreless relief, before giving up 3 runs in the ninth. 

Freshman center fielder Braden Mosley’s 3-run home run in the ninth inning proved to be too little too late, as the Saluki rally came up 9 runs short.

Snyder and senior left fielder Daniel Dwyer picked up 3 hits each for ISU. Snyder picked up a game-high 4 RBIs.

SIU used the help of a big first inning to edge out the Redbirds in a 9-7 victory in Sunday’s rubber match.

The Salukis scored 5 runs off ISU sophomore Jack Landwehr (3-5) in the first inning. Freshman designated hitter Logan Blackfan’s 2-run double highlighted the opening-frame rally.

Henderson said the first inning gave SIU a mental advantage over the Redbirds.

“That was huge,” Henderson said. “I thought they got down a little bit after that.”

Saluki sophomore starter Kyle Pruemer was solid through the first 3 innings, allowing no runs and 1 hit.

Pruemer allowed 2 unearned runs in the fourth before a 2-hour, 25-minute weather delay interrupted play.

Sophomore Jacob Williams took over for Pruemer after the delay and earned the win to raise his record to 2-1. Pruemer was charged with 3 runs, all unearned.

Redbird junior first baseman Brian Rodemoyer hit a solo home run in the ninth and junior left fielder Jared Hendren added a 3-run double to cut the lead to 9-7 before junior closer Colten Selvey got Koziol to ground out to seal the game.

Freshman shortstop Chase Slone led SIU with 4 hits Sunday, all singles to lead off innings. Blackfan, freshman first baseman Greg Lambert and senior right fielder Tyler Rolland each drove in 3 runs.

With 3 hits Sunday, Osborne finished the series 6-for-13 with 5 RBIs.

The Salukis play Southeast Missouri State at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Itchy Jones Stadium. 

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269.