Salukis win first series of the year at Indiana State, can’t finish off sweep

By Thomas Donley, @TdonleyDE

The SIU baseball team picked up its first series win of 2015 at Indiana State this weekend.

The Salukis (7-28, 3-6) won consecutive games for the first time all season but stumbled Sunday in their attempt to sweep the Sycamores (14-19, 4-8).

A three-run eighth inning rally propelled SIU to a 5-3 win, its first since March 29, on Friday night. 

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The Salukis trailed 3-2 after the seventh, but an RBI single by senior left fielder Parker Osborne tied the game. A sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop Chase Slone and an RBI single by sophomore second baseman Will Farmer put SIU on top for good. 

Junior pitcher Aaron Hauge (3-3) overcame 4 errors to pick up the win for the Salukis. SIU’s ace threw 8 innings and allowed 3 runs, only one of which was earned, on 5 hits. Hauge struck out seven Sycamores and walked three. 

Indiana State junior starter Jeff Degano (5-3) allowed 4 runs on 12 hits in 7 innings, striking out 10 and walking none. 

Junior closer Colten Selvey went three up, three down in the ninth, inducing a game-ending double play to notch his fourth save of the season.

Osborne’s 4 hits and 2 RBIs were both game-highs Friday. 

SIU used a three-run rally in the sixth inning to secure the series win Saturday with a 7-4 victory.

Trailing 3-2 after the fifth, the Salukis used a two-run double by freshman designated hitter Logan Blackfan to take the lead. Blackfan came around to score on a sacrifice fly by freshman catcher Nick Hutchins to score the run that would be the difference. 

Osborne homered to lead off the seventh and drove in another run with a ninth inning single to provide insurance for the Saluki bullpen. 

Redshirt senior pitcher Bryce Sablotny (1-2) picked up his first win since Feb. 19, 2013, on Saturday. Sablotny gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, striking out four and walking four. 

Sycamore sophomore pitcher Ryan Keaffaber (1-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing 6 runs in 7 innings. Keaffaber struck out eight and walked two. 

Selvey walked the first two batters he faced in the ninth. He struck out one before being pulled for freshman Ryan Netemeyer, who picked up his first career save. 

Hutchins and freshman first baseman Greg Lambert had a game-high 3 hits each for SIU. Blackfan, Hutchins and Osborne each drove in 3 runs.

Indiana State’s first two hitters, senior center fielder Landon Curry and senior first baseman Derek Hannahs, led the Sycamores with 2 hits apiece. Hannahs collected a game-high 3 RBIs.

Kyle Pruemer’s control issues continued in Sunday’s 6-2 loss. The sophomore allowed 5 runs through 3 innings, in part to 4 walks and his own throwing error. Pruemer (0-4) also allowed a first-inning home run to senior right fielder Jacob Hayes.

Indiana State freshman starter Ethan Larrison (2-2) held SIU in check for six innings Sunday, not allowing a run until the seventh. Larrison struck out four and walked two while scattering 6 hits.

Netemeyer and sophomore Chad Whitmer combined to pitch 5 innings of relief, allowing 1 run.

The Sycamore bullpen combined for 2.1 innings, allowing 1 run. SIU put at least two runners on in each of the final 3 innings, but Lambert’s solo shot to lead off the seventh was the only run the Salukis picked up in those frames.

Hayes collected a game-high 3 hits Sunday. He and Curry led Indiana State with 2 RBIs each.

Four Salukis collected 2 hits Sunday. 

SIU coach Ken Henderson said he was not disappointed with his team’s offensive effort Sunday, but he wished the Salukis could have made more adjustments at the plate.

“We gave away a lot of AB’s,” Henderson said. “Our strike zone discipline was not very good. We competed at the plate, we just couldn’t get anything going.”

Henderson said despite Pruemer’s poor outing, with sophomore Kyle Pauly out for the season and junior Alex Lesiak battling an injury he has no plans to replace his Sunday starter. 

“We don’t have a ton of options,” Henderson said. “Pruemer is certainly capable of doing good things for us. He threw well at Bradley.” 

SIU plays SEMO at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

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

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