SIU starts road trip with Belmont on Wednesday

    Parker Osborne had two hits in SIU's second win over NIU on Saturday.

    Parker Osborne had two hits in SIU's second win over NIU on Saturday.
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    March 4, 2014

    Southern Illinois Salukis (7-3) vs. Belmont Bruins (6-5)
     Date Wednesday, March 5
     Time 3:30 p.m. Central Time
     Location E.S. Rose Park - Nashville, Tenn. 
    SIU: RHP Connor McFadden (0-0, 10.12 ERA)
    WIU: LHP James Backelew (0-1, 0.00 ERA)
     Audio Bruins Sports Network broadcast
     Video None
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat ReaderMVC Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Stat Broadcast
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Belmont | MVC
     All-Time Series tied, 1-1
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball  | @SIU_Baseball  | Saluki Athletics 

    LEADING OFF Southern Illinois will embark on a weeklong five-game road trip beginning with a nonconference game at Belmont on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. The Salukis have won six of their last seven games after sweeping a doubleheader from Northern Illinois on Saturday. 

    WEDNESDAY’S STARTER Redshirt freshman Connor McFadden will make his third start of the season. He has allowed six runs off two hits and 11 walks in two starts this season. In his last outing, he allowed two runs off six walks in 3.1 hitless innings and took a no decision in SIU’s win at UT Martin.

    BELMONT SERIES NOTES The two teams have faced each other only twice in school history with Belmont claiming a 14-7 win in Nasvhille 2012 and the Salukis taking a 2-1 game in 10 innings in Carbondale in 2013.

    SCOUTING THE BRUINS Belmont took two out of three games at home against Mercer this weekend to improve to 6-5 on the year. The Bruins are hitting .223 as a team, which ranks 10th in the 11-team Ohio Valley Conference. Drew Ferguson leads the team with a .342 average along with four home runs and nine RBIs in 11 games. Jamie Ritchie is second on the team with a .333 average and tied for the conference lead with five stolen bases in five attempts. The Bruins are third in the OVC with a 3.34 team ERA. In two starts, James Backelew has allowed five runs, none of them earned, in 12 innings of work.

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois2(10)
    May 1, 2013
    Carbondale, Ill.
    Salukis outduel Belmont with 2-1 10th inning win
    Southern Illinois edged Belmont in the 10th inning with a 2-1 walk-off victory Wednesday afternoon at Abe Martin Field. It was the Salukis' (21-24) fourth walk-off win of the year as they beat the Bruins (30-13) in their first ever trip to Carbondale.

    LIGHTS OUT The Saluki pitching staff allowed a total of two earned runs in last weekend’s three-game series against Northern Illinois. In Saturday’s doubleheader, SIU allowed an earned run before the first out of the day was recorded and did not surrender another earned run over the remaining 18 innings.

    HOT START SIU has won six of its last seven games and is off to a 7-3 start to the season, it’s best record through 10 games since 2006 when the Salukis started the season 9-1. Southern has already put together a four-game winning streak, which is its longest since the last week of the 2012 season.

    CLOSE CALLS SIU is 3-1 in one-run games and 1-0 in extra innings this season. One reason for the success in close games is that the Salukis have outscored their opponents 20-4 after the sixth inning this season.

    CLUTCH HAND With three career hits in 11 at-bats this season, freshman Jake Hand has already delivered a pair of game-winning pinch hits for SIU. On Feb. 22, he hit an RBI single in the 11th inning to break a 7-7- tie and give SIU the win at Nicholls State. This past Saturday, he had a pinch-hit RBI single, which scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give SIU a 3-1 win over Northern Illinois.

    LOOKING AHEAD Southern Illinois will travel to South Alabama for a three-game series beginning Friday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. The Salukis will then conclude the road trip against College World Series runner up Mississippi State on Tuesday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. That will be followed by a three-game series against Illinois which begins with the home opener at new Itchy Jones Stadium on Friday, March 14.