Saluki baseball takes season series against Austin Peay


Cameron Hupp

Freshmen infielder Grey Epps attempts to catch a pop-fly Wednesday, April 4, 2018, during the Salukis’ 10-6 win against the Austin Peay Governors at Itchy Jones Stadium. (Cameron Hupp | @CHupp04)

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

Saluki baseball hosted Austin Peay for their first home mid-week game of the season on Wednesday afternoon.

Southern used a five-run sixth inning to take the 10-6 win and sweep the Governors (16-13, 7-5 OVC) in the season series.

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, however, due to thunderstorms, the game was pushed back a day.


The Salukis have proven to be a force to be reckoned with in mid-week games with a 5-1 record.

“We’ve been pretty good in mid-week this year,” head coach Ken Henderson said. “It’s something we’ve worked real hard because if you look at the last few seasons we haven’t been very good.”

Austin Peay struck first in the second inning with a lead-off double, only to be cleaned up by a single up the middle for the first run of the game.

Southern came right back in the bottom half of the innings, as they put up back-to-back singles to put men on first and third. Then, freshman third baseman J.T. Weber batted into a double-play, driving in one to even the score.

SIU took its first lead of the game in third as the Salukis loaded up the bases. Senior first baseman Logan Blackfan was then hit by a pitch and credited with an RBI for a 2-1 lead. Blackfan finished 1-5 with two RBI and a run.

In the fourth, the Governors loaded the bases and followed with a double that drove in two more runs for a 3-2 lead.

After a quick run by the Salukis leveled the contest, freshman first baseman John McDonald sent a two-run home run to left center for a 5-3 advantage.


“This club doesn’t give,” Henderson said. “It could be 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth and we still wouldn’t give up.”

With another quick run in the fifth, the Salukis went off in the sixth for a five spot with six consecutive singles for a 9-5 lead.

“It was getting frustrating,” Henderson said. “We put up one run in four straight innings, but we finally busted it open.”

Southern put up one more run in the eighth inning to seal the deal and take the 10-6 win, sweeping the season series.

Junior left fielder Alex Lyon finished the game 3-4 with three runs, one RBI, and a program record four steals.

“I picked up on his glove placement and you could tell what he was about to do,” Lyon said. “It allowed me to get a good jump and take the bases.”

Freshman reliever Trey McDaniel earned his first career save after coming into the game with one out and the bases loaded. The freshman gave up only one hit.

“I just wanted to come out and get two outs,” McDaniel said. “I’ve worked really hard and I’m glad it’s starting to pay off.”

Southern had one of their better offensive outings as they put up 17 hits, however, they stranded 15.

“We swung it pretty well today,” Henderson said. “We left 15 and we have to do a better job with that.”

SIU (15-13, 2-1 MVC) will host conference newcomers Valparaiso in a three-game series beginning on Friday. Senior starting pitcher Michael Baird (2-2, 4.08 ERA) will get the start.

“We’re playing pretty well right now,” Henderson said. “This is a club that gets better as the year goes on.”

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

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