SIU will visit OVC leader Austin Peay Tuesday

    Bryce Sablotny will look to improve his record to 2-0.

    Bryce Sablotny will look to improve his record to 2-0.
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    Feb. 25, 2013

    Southern Illinois (4-3, 0-0 MVC) at Austin Peay (6-1, 0-0 OVC)
     Date Tuesday, Feb. 26
     Time 3 p.m.
     Location Clarksville, Tenn. - Rymond C. Hand Park
     Probables SIU - RHP Bryce Sablotny (1-0, 3.60) vs. APSU - LHP Zach Hall (1-0, 3.60) 
     Radio Austin Peay Broadcast
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader | Austin Peay Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Provided by Austin Peay
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball

    CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - The Southern Illinois baseball team will visit Austin Peay Tuesday for a midweek nonconference matchup. SIU will look to return to its winning ways after snapping a three-game winning streak on Sunday. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 3 p.m.

    TUESDAY’S STARTER Junior Bryce Sablotny will make his second start of the season after picking up a win in his Saluki debut last week at UT Martin. Sablotny tossed five innings and allowed two runs off three hits. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, and all of the damage against him came in the fourth inning.

    AUSTIN PEAY SERIES NOTES SIU will face Austin Peay for the first time since 2000. The Salukis lead the all-time series, 20-10. This will be Southern’s second trip to Austin Peay since 1998. The two teams met annual from 1989 until 2000. After winning seven in a row against the Governors from 1994 to 1998, SIU has dropped three of the last four meetings with Austin Peay.

    SCOUTING THE GOVERNORS Austin Peay was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference and is off to a 6-1 start. Following a weekend sweep of Illinois State, the Governors enter the game on a five-game winning streak. They are hitting .278 as a team with a 4.29 team ERA. Second baseman Jordan Hankins was tabbed as the Preseason OVC Co-Player of the Year and is hitting .370 through seven games. Outfielder Cody Hudson and shortstop Reed Harper also made the Preseason All-OVC Team. Hudson is second on the team with a .407 average behind sophomore outfielder Dylan Riner, who is hitting .421. Starting pticher Zach Hall allowed two runs off three hits and also issued five walks in five innings to take the win last Tuesday at Middle Tennessee.

    JONES MVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK Catcher Matt Jones was named the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Week on Monday for his performance in the previous week’s games. Jones had a red hot week at the plate for SIU, hitting .474 with 10 RBI in four games. In a three-game series at Jacksonville State, Jones went 8-for-15 with three doubles and three multi-hit games. On Friday he recorded three hits and drove in five runs, the most by a player in the MVC this season. He followed up that performance by recording three more hits and driving in five more runs in Saturday’s game. His nine hits during the week gave him a conference leading 15 on the season.

    HOT HITTING Over the last four games, SIU has posted a team batting average of .349. During that stretch, the Salukis are averaging nine runs and more than 13 hits per game. Four Salukis (Matt Jones, Austin Montgomery, Luke Mottashed and Jake Welch) have driven in at least four runs over the last four games. Matt Jones and Jake Welch have led the offensive charge. Both are hitting a scalding .474 (9-for-19) with three doubles apiece in the last four games.

    DOUBLE VISION The Salukis lead the Missouri Valley Conference with 14 doubles in their first seven games. Matt Jones and Jake Welch are tied for the team lead with four each. Three of Jones’ doubles came in Friday’s win over Jacksonville State. In 2012 SIU tied a school record with 125 doubles in 59 games.

    CATCHER PRODUCTION Matt Jones and Luke Mottashed have split time behind the plate this season with Jones starting four games as catcher and Mottashed starting three games as catcher. In seven games this season, the catcher’s spot in the order has batted .467 (14-for-30) with five doubles and 11 RBI. That doesn’t even include Jones’ 6-for-13 effort and five RBI in three starts as the DH.

    STRONG STARTS SIU’s starting pitchers have lasted at least five innings in six of seven games this season. In each of the last six games, the Salukis’ starter has allowed three runs or less. Overall the staff is second in the MVC with a 3.60 team ERA and has held opponents to a conference low .228 batting average.

    LOOKING AHEAD Following Tuesday’s game, Southern Illinois will face Western Kentucky in a three-game series beginning with the home opener on Friday, March 1 at 2 p.m. The Salukis will then be on the road on Tuesday, March 5 against Murray State.