Dawgs fend off Bears to complete sweep


By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

The Southern Illinois offense stayed hot Sunday, giving Saluki baseball its first sweep of a conference series since 2013.

SIU beat Missouri State 14-8 to complete its first sweep in Springfield since a two-game sweep of the Bears in 1990. 

Saluki sophomore righty Michael Baird (8-3, 1.74 ERA) held MSU (29-17, 3-11 Missouri Valley Conference) to two runs on six singles in six innings of work to earn the win.


MSU senior left fielder Spencer Johnson’s three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh off junior righty Anthony Shimkus cut the Saluki (28-19-1, 9-6 MVC) lead to 13-6, staving off the mercy rule.

Sophomore closer Ryan Netemeyer came in and shut down a ninth-inning rally that drew the Bears within six, retiring all three batters he faced.

SIU sophomore first baseman Logan Blackfan hit a grand slam in the fourth to cap a weekend in which he was 4-8 with 10 RBIs and five runs scored. Sophomore second baseman Connor Kopach was 8-17 in the series with four extra-base hits.

All nine Salukis scored at least one run Sunday.

Sophomore right-hander Austin Knight (4-2, 5.40 ERA) took the loss, giving up eight runs on seven hits in four innings with four walks and four strikeouts. 

Kopach and sophomore catcher Nick Hutchins collected a game-high three hits apiece. Blackfan’s four RBIs were a game high.

SIU has the week off for finals. Its next game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Evansville. Junior right-hander Chad Whitmer (5-3, 2.45 ERA) will take the mound for the Dawgs.


Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307