Daily Egyptian

Dallas Baptist stuns Saluki baseball with walk-off win

By Nathan Dodd, Sports Editor

For the second day in a row, the Dallas Baptist Patriots (22-10, 4-1 MVC) mounted together late-inning heroics in a comeback win over the SIU baseball team.

Down 4-1 in the seventh on Friday, the Patriots rallied for six runs for a victory over Southern.

On Saturday, DBU saved the drama for the final frame as the Patriots walked off with a three-run ninth inning for a 9-8 victory.

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SIU led for a majority of the game, however, as it opened the second inning with a single by junior left fielder Alex Lyon, who proceeded to steal second and third.

Then, on an error, Lyon came across to score and gave Southern an early 1-0 lead. The Salukis plated one more run in the inning on an RBI groundout by freshman third baseman Grey Epps.

In the bottom of the second, DBU struck back and knotted the game. The first strike came on a solo home run by senior catcher Matt Duce.

Then, after a walk and hit by pitch, junior first baseman Garrett Wolforth tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

Southern responded, however, in the top of the third with a single and a walk to lead of the inning. Senior shortstop Connor Kopach followed with a three-run homer over the right-field wall for a 5-2 lead, his fourth long ball of the season.

Each squad manufactured one more run each in its next at-bat as the fourth inning ended with a 6-3 score in favor of SIU.

DBU made things interesting again in the fifth as two singles to lead off the inning got the Patriots in business.

Then, with nobody out, Duce launched a three-run homer over the wall and tied the game up at six runs each. He finished the game 2-3 with two homers, two runs, two walks and four RBI.

After three scoreless innings of play, the Salukis broke back into the run column in the top of the ninth.

With a walk and a hit by pitch, Kopach stepped up to the plate with two outs. He immediately sent an RBI single up the middle and gave SIU a late lead. Kopach ended the game 3-4 with one run, one walk and four RBI.

Senior first baseman Logan Blackfan added an insurance run with an RBI single of his own and gave the Salukis an 8-6 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. Blackfan finished the game 2-5 with one RBI.

Southern elected to turn to senior closer Ryan Netemeyer for a save opportunity in the bottom of the frame. Unfortunately for the Salukis, the senior reliever’s struggles continued as he immediately hit a batter, served up a double and surrendered a walk.

With the bases loaded and nobody out, Netemeyer walked in a run that reduced the lead to one. An ensuing wild pitch allowed the tying run to cross the plate and put SIU on the ropes.

As Netemeyer loaded the bases once again, he ended the game by walking in the winning run with junior designated hitter Kody Funderburk at the plate. Funderburk, who also started the game as DBU’s pitcher, was awarded the walk-off RBI.

MacGregor Hines (5-1) claimed the win for the Patriots. He pitched 0.2 innings and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk.

Netemeyer (0-3) suffered the loss as he gave up three runs in the final frame on only one hit and four walks.

The Salukis (18-16, 4-4 MVC) will try to avoid the sweep in the final game of the series against No. 25 Dallas Baptist on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sophomore Brad Harrison (4-1, 2.81 ERA) will take the mound for the Salukis.

Sports editor Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NathanMDodd.

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

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