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Salukis completes sweep against Stetson in season opener

Itchy Jones Stadium, Home of Saluki Baseball. DE stock photo.

Itchy Jones Stadium, Home of Saluki Baseball. DE stock photo.

By Jonathan Thompson

SIU men’s baseball went three-for-three against Stetson over the weekend in the season opener.

After a dominant performance on Saturday when SIU won 7-0, the Salukis ended the road trip by beating the Hatters 8-4 in the final game.

Southern scored all eight of its runs in the first two innings — seven of which came in the second.

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Junior second baseman Connor Kopach tripled for the Salukis first at bat. Later on, junior left fielder Greg Lambert had a sacrifice fly RBI as he brought Kopach home for the first run of the game.

Things got interesting in the second inning.

The Salukis got three singles in a row, and a stolen base by junior third baseman Drew Curtis led to the Salukis’ first run of the inning.

Two more of the Dawgs stole bases and got to second and third. Freshmen right fielder Jared Kengott was then walked, loading the bases for SIU.

Kopach struck out, swinging on the next at bat for the first out.

Senior right fielder Ryan Smith singled, which kept the bases loaded and brought another Saluki in to score.

Lambert sacrificed again and another SIU player scored.

Junior first baseman Logan Blackfan was walked, once again loading the bases for Southern.

With the bases loaded, junior designated hitter Jake Hand hit an inside-the-park grand slam to stretch the Salukis’ lead to 8-0.

SIU managed to get three other players on base, but Kengott struck out swinging to end the inning.

There wasn’t much action until the sixth inning when Stetson scored three runs in the inning.

Two Hatters singled before freshmen left fielder Andrew MacNeil was walked, thus loading the bases for Stetson.

Stetson got two base hits in a row, bringing two runners home.

The Hatters scored again after freshmen third baseman Chis Tidwell doubled to bring home another runner.

Stetson found success in the next inning as MacNiel doubled, which brought first baseman Mike Spooner home to push the score to 8-4.

After two successful endings, the Hatters looked poised to make a comeback. But thanks to consistency from SIU’s pitching, they held on to the lead and walked away with a series sweep.

Senior lefty pitcher Joey Marciano was given the win.

SIU rode some big momentum after a 7-0 shutout on Saturday.

The Salukis scored six of their seven runs in the final two innings — three in each.

Lamberet was 3-4 batting and had two RBI’s. Senior pitcher Michael Baird (nine K’s) was given the win.

The Salukis look to continue their success at 3 p.m. on Tuesday against Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Staff writer Jonathan Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

To stay up to date with all your SIU basketball news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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