Daily Egyptian

Saluki baseball five-game win streak comes to end

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

In the midst of a five-game winning streak, the SIU baseball team took on the Arkansas State Red Wolves (8-5) in a mid-week road game Tuesday evening.

In a game that took 11 innings, Southern surrendered a walk-off single that downed the Salukis 9-8.

Junior second baseman Nikola Vasic kicked things off for the Salukis in the first with a single and then advanced to third on a fielding error. He was driven in shortly after on an RBI single by sophomore center field Addison Fugitt for a 1-0 lead.

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The Red Wolves responded in the second inning when a runner reached second on a fielding error and came across to score on a double to right-center field.

With a walk, a steal and a fielding error, the Red Wolves brought home two more runs and took a 3-1 lead after two innings.

After three scoreless innings, with men on first and second, ASU used an RBI single to jump ahead 4-1.

However, SIU responded with two runs of its own in the seventh, as senior designated hitter Hunter Anderson reached and advanced to second on a fielder’s choice. He quickly came across to score on an RBI single by sophomore catcher Austin Ulick.

Then, freshman third baseman J.T. Weber walked and advanced on a passed ball that moved runners to second and third.

With a wild pitch, Ulick was able to make it home and brought SIU within one run heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Once again ASU halted SIU’s comeback attempt and added three more runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 7-3 advantage after seven innings.

After a scoreless eighth, the Salukis mounted a ninth-inning comeback as Ulick walked, followed by a home run to deep left by Weber that decreased the deficit to two.

With a fielding error and a walk that got two men on, senior shortstop Connor Kopach sent one over the wall for his first homer of the season and put the Salukis up 8-7 headed to the bottom of the ninth.

Southern’s senior closer Ryan Netemeyer got the call in the ninth for a chance at his first save of the season. However, he gave up back-to-back walks and back-to-back groundouts that brought in a run and sent the game into extra innings.

The Red Wolves closed out the game out in the 11th inning with a walk followed by back-to-back singles that brought the game-winning ninth run across to score.

Freshman reliever Trey McDaniel (1-2) took the loss after he pitched 1.1 innings and surrendered the winning run.

After two consecutive stellar performances, sophomore starting pitcher Brad Harrison struggled, as he only lasted two innings and gave up two hits, two walks and three runs, all unearned.

SIU (8-9) will return home on Friday to take on No. 24 Illinois in a three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. Senior pitcher Michael Baird is likely to get the start for the Salukis.

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

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