Salukis outslug Bears to take series

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Salukis outslug Bears to take series

Ryan Netemeyer warms up during SIU's 4-1 win against Western Illinois on May 7, 2016, at Itchy Jones Stadium.

Ryan Netemeyer warms up during SIU's 4-1 win against Western Illinois on May 7, 2016, at Itchy Jones Stadium.

Ryan Netemeyer warms up during SIU's 4-1 win against Western Illinois on May 7, 2016, at Itchy Jones Stadium.

Ryan Netemeyer warms up during SIU's 4-1 win against Western Illinois on May 7, 2016, at Itchy Jones Stadium.

By Thomas Donley, @TDonleyDE

Nine Southern Illinois batters collected hits, and six drove in runs in a 12-10 win at Missouri State on Saturday.

The Saluki bullpen staved off a late comeback attempt to earn SIU’s first series win at Hammons Field since 2010.

SIU (27-19-1, 8-6 Missouri Valley Conference) scored 10 unanswered runs to take an 11-4 lead, but the Bears (29-16, 3-10 MVC) answered with a five-run seventh inning and pushed across another in the eighth.

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MSU threatened against closer Ryan Netemeyer, using a walk and a hit batsman to bring the winning run to the plate in the ninth before the sophomore righty forced junior designated hitter Alex Jefferson to pop out.

The Dawgs came through with timely hits, going 7-15 with runners in scoring position. Each of SIU’s first four hitters drove in multiple runs, led by sophomore first baseman Logan Blackfan’s three RBIs, which came on one swing in the fifth.

Each team had six extra-base hits. Missouri State hit three round-trippers and three doubles, whil SIU collected four doubles, a two-run triple from junior center fielder Ryan Smith in addition to Blackfan’s fourth homer.

Junior left-hander Joey Marciano (4-4, 3.79 ERA) was credited with the win, allowing four runs, one of them earned, in 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts and three walks.

Junior lefty Jordan Knutson (5-5, 4.74 ERA) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits in five innings, striking out six Salukis and walking three.

Netemeyer earned his 10th save of the year with his hitless ninth inning, tying him with Dewey Robinson’s 1977 performance for the fourth-most saves in a season in program history.

Saluki sophomore second baseman Connor Kopach’s four hits were a game high. Junior first baseman Justin Paulsen tied Blackfan with a game high three RBIs.

The Dawgs will go for their first sweep at Missouri State since 1990 at 1 p.m. Sunday. SIU sophomore righty Michael Baird (7-3, 1.64 ERA) will face MSU sophomore right-hander Jake Fromson (4-1, 3.50).

Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 618-536-3307

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