Daily Egyptian

Southern drops second game to Sycamores

By Dillon Gilliland, Sports Reporter

The Saluki baseball team hosted the second of a three-game series against the Indiana State Sycamores at Itchy Jones Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Southern could not not overcome an early deficit and fell to Indiana State (23-20, 5-9 MVC), 8-2.

Following a 3-2 win over the Sycamores on Friday night, SIU came into the contest looking for a series victory before it heads into series against conference powerhouse Missouri State next weekend.

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The Sycamores found themselves ahead early in the opening inning with a two-run homer by junior designated hitter Romero Harris.

Indiana State continued to extend its lead in the second after it loaded the bases with a couple of singles and an error.

With one swing of the bat by senior first baseman Dane Giesler for a grand slam, the Sycamores opened their lead to 6-0 after only two innings.

“When you’re down 6-0 before you can blink you have to go up hill all day,” SIU head coach Ken Henderson said. “It was a struggle.”

After pitching only two innings, senior starting pitcher Jamison Steege handed the ball over to freshman reliever Noah Farmer.

Southern put some runs on the board in the fourth as junior third baseman Alex Lyon doubled and was followed by a walk from senior designated hitter Hunter Anderson.

On an attempt for a double steal, the Sycamores coughed up their first error of the game in an attempt to throw out Anderson at second, allowing Lyon to score and sending Anderson to third.

“We’re not going to score if we don’t stay aggressive on the base paths,” Henderson said. “It’s a risk-reward type thing, but that’s how we’re built.”

The designated hitter proceeded to score on a fielder’s choice.

After three nearly flawless innings by Farmer, sophomore reliever Dylan Givens stepped in to make his conference debut.

“I was able to get ahead today,” Farmer said. “My defense did a good job behind me.”

SIU found an opportunity to score in the seventh as it loaded up the bases with two singles and walk with two outs.

However, Southern was not able to capitalize on the opportunity as the Salukis grounded out and sent the game into the eighth.

The Sycamores scored two more runs across the final two innings and secured the 8-2 win, evening the series at one game each.

Steege (4-4) received the loss after going only two innings on two earned runs, five hits and a walk.

Farmer and Givens combined for six innings with one hit, one run, two walks and a strikeout.

“Our bullpen gave us a chance,” Henderson said. “They threw up a lot of zeroes.”

Henderson noted his confidence in Farmer.

“Noah has been really good for us,” Henderson said. “He doesn’t look like a freshman anymore.”

Southern struggled offensively again as it netted six hits and seven punch outs.

SIU (25-22, 8-6 MVC) will close out the three-game series tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sophomore pitcher Brad Harrison (5-3) will get the start.

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

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