Daily Egyptian

Saluki baseball drops season series to Illinois

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

With the season winding down, SIU traveled to Champaign to take on the University of Illinois in one of its final midweek games of the season.

Illinois (26-14) once again overpowered the Salukis, earning the 9-1 win.

SIU came into the contest looking to extend its winning streak to five games and even the season series as Illinois held a 2-1 advantage coming into the game.

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Southern struck first against the Fighting Illini as sophomore catcher Mitch Fairfield scored sophomore designated hitter Brad Harrison, who reached on an error, with a two-out single for an early 1-0 lead in the second.

Illinois answered back in the third inning with three straight singles that scored one, followed by a sacrifice fly and an error that cleared the bases and earned a 3-1 lead.

After a quick run in the fifth by the Fighting Illini, they continued to add to their lead with a three-run homer from junior left fielder Doran Turchin, followed by a solo homer from junior center fielder Zac Taylor that stretched the lead to 8-1.

Turchin put the final nail in the coffin in the sixth with an RBI single to give his team the 9-1 victory.

The left fielder finished 3-4 with four RBI and a run.

Sophomore starting pitcher Dylan Givens (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he pitched four innings with four earned runs, six hits and three walks.

Southern had its one of its worst offensive performances of the season as the Salukis only recorded two hits and struck out 12 times.

SIU will return home on Friday to take on the Indiana State Sycamores. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Senior pitcher Michael Baird will likely get the start.

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

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