Daily Egyptian

Saluki baseball loses three-game series to Ospreys

By Dillon Gilliland

The SIU baseball team took on the North Florida Ospreys in the rubber match of a three-game series.

SIU could not hold on to its lead and fell to North Florida (3-4) on Sunday afternoon, 9-6.

The Salukis came into the contest with a chance to win their first series of the season following Saturday’s victory.

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Southern struck first after two scoreless innings as sophomore designated hitter Brad Harrison reached first on a walk.

Sophomore catcher Austin Ulick and sophomore center fielder Addison Fugitt followed up with back-to-back singles and loaded the bases.

Senior shortstop Connor Kopach brought in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly to center field.

In the bottom of the third, UNF junior shortstop Jay Prather responded with a single to right field. Prather advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and later to third on a throwing error by Southern.

The shortstop was brought in by a single and tied the game up at 1-1 after three innings.

The Ospreys continued their scoring run in the fourth as they put up back-to-back doubles to take a 2-1 lead.

Sophomore center fielder Tanner Murphy followed up with a two-run homer to left field to stretch the lead to 4-1.

Freshman left fielder Raff Libuano followed in his teammate’s footsteps and hit a solo shot to right field for a 5-1 lead.

The Salukis began to fight back in the fifth as Kopach reached first on a walk and was immediately driven in on a double by junior second baseman Nikola Vasic.

Junior left fielder Alex Lyon advanced Vasic to third on an infield single, however, Vasic was able to score on a throwing error to make it 5-3.

Southern earned its lead back in the top of the seventh, led off by a single from Vasic.

Lyon continued to show off his bat as he hit a two-run homer to deep center and tied the game up at five runs each.

Senior first baseman Logan Blackfan followed up a with a solo shot and earned a 6-5 lead for Southern.

In the bottom of the seventh, Libuano kicked off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error that allowed senior right fielder Wesley Weeks to reach first.

Freshman designated hitter Andrew Martinez drove in Libuano with a single to right that advanced Weeks to third. Martinez scooted to second on the throw.

Freshman third baseman Max Law cleared the bases with a double that put UNF up 8-6. The Ospreys followed up with another double that scored Law.

SIU could not get anything going for the remainder of the game and lost the contest 9-6.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Noah Farmer took the loss for SIU as he gave up three hits and three runs on 29 pitches.

Up next, the Salukis (2-5) will travel to Nashville, Tennessee on Tuesday to take on Belmont. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Sports reporter Dillon Gilliland can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @DillonGilliland.

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

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