Daily Egyptian

Saluki baseball blows out Murray State

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

On Wednesday afternoon, SIU baseball took on the Murray State Racers for its second game in as many days.

Southern’s lineup was too much for the Racers (7-6) as the Salukis exploded for 23 runs and took home a 23-5 victory.

Since the Salukis shut out SEMO on Tuesday, today completed the first consecutive victories for Southern this season. SIU also improved its record to 3-0 this season in mid-week games.

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The Salukis struck in the third when junior second baseman Nikola Vasic reached on a walk followed by a hit-by-pitch by sophomore outfielder Addison Fugitt.

Senior shortstop Connor Kopach followed and loaded the bases with a bunt single. Then, senior first baseman Logan Blackfan hit a single that drove in the first run of the game.

Southern brought in another run as junior right fielder Alex Lyon scored Fugitt on a sacrifice fly. Senior designated hitter Hunter Anderson then cleared the bases with a three-run home run that gave SIU a 5-0 lead.

After MSU responded with a run of its own, SIU came back in the fourth with a double and two walks that immediately loaded the bases.

Lyon then singled and brought two men across the plate. After a walk loaded the bases back up, sophomore center fielder Jared Kengott was hit by a pitch and scored another.

Then, sophomore catcher Austin Ulick smacked a bases-clearing triple that put Southern up 12-1.

Murray would not go down without a fight, however, as the Racers put up three more runs off of two hits, two walks, a hit-by-pitch and a wild pitch.

The Salukis proved to be relentless and responded with back-to-back walks that were immediately scored on a three-run home run by Anderson, his second long ball of the game. Anderson finished 2-4 with three runs scored and six RBI.

With a 15-4 lead, SIU added another run in the sixth with a single from Blackfan who was then driven in on an RBI triple from Lyon, who went 3-4 with five RBI.

In the seventh, Southern added two more runs as two men reached via a walk and an error and were driven in by a double from Fugitt. He finished 2-4 with three runs scored and four RBI.

Over the next two innings, the Salukis added eight more runs, including a two-run homer from Ulick that stretched the lead to 23-4.

The Racers could only muster one run in the final inning and gave Southern the 23-5 win.

In a relief role, senior pitcher Allen Montgomery (1-0) picked up his first win of the season. He pitched a scoreless 2.1 innings and struck out two Racers.

SIU (5-8) will return home on Friday to take on Northern Illinois in a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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

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