SIU opens 3-game series at South Alabama Friday

    Sunday's starter, Aaron Hauge, threw six scoreless innings in his last outing.

    Sunday's starter, Aaron Hauge, threw six scoreless innings in his last outing.
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    March 6, 2014

    Southern Illinois Salukis (8-3) vs. South Alabama (5-7)
     Date Friday, March 7 - Sunday, March 9
     Time Fri - 6:30 p.m., Sat. - 2 p.m., Sun. - 1 p.m.
     Location Stanky Field - Mobile, Ala. 
     Game 1
    SIU: RHP Sam Coonrod (0-1, 3.55 ERA)
    USA: RHP Kevin Hill (1-1, 4.09 ERA)
     Game 2
    SIU: RHP Todd Eaton (0-1, 5.62 ERA)
    USA: LHP Locke St. John (1-0, 1.96 ERA) 
     Game 3
    SIU: LHP Aaron Hauge (1-1, 1.86 ERA)
    USA: TBA 
     Audio None
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat ReaderMVC Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | South Alabama | MVC
     All-Time Series Southern Illinois leads, 3-2
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball  | @SIU_Baseball  | Saluki Athletics 

    LEADING OFF Southern Illinois will try to stretch its winning streak to match a season-best four games as the Salukis begin a three-game series at South Alabama on Friday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. The Salukis have won seven of their last eight games. 

    FRIDAY’S STARTER Sam Coonrod will make his fourth start of the season and the 29th start of his career. In his last outing he allowed one run off two hits in six innings of work and took the loss in a 1-0 defeat against Northern Illinois.

    SOUTH ALABAMA SERIES NOTES Southern Illinois leads the all-time series, 3-2. The two teams last met in 2009 at the Brighthouse Invitational in DeLand, Fla. The Jaguars won 3-2. SIU and South Alabama split a two-game series in Mobile in 1983, and the Salukis swept USA in a two-game series in Carbondale in 1984. 

    SCOUTING THE JAGUARS South Alabama dropped a pair of midweek games with losses at Jackson State and Mississippi State this week to fall to 5-7 on the year. The Jaguars are hitting .249 as a team, which is tied for seventh in the Sun Belt Conference. Sophomore first baseman Hayden Jones leads the team with a .333 average. South Alabama is sixth in the Sun Belt with 3.58 ERA. The Jaguars are second in the conference with a .978 fielding percentage.

    HOT DAWGS Southern Illinois is off to its best start through 11 games since starting the 2006 season 10-1. The Salukis have won three in a row and seven of their last eight games. SIU’s longest winning streak of the season is four games, which eclipsed the team’s longest win streak of 2013.

    HENDU’S HUNDO Southern Illinois’ next win will be Ken Henderson’s 100th as head coach of the Salukis. His first 35 wins came as interim manager for the final 20 games of 1994 and the entire 2011 season.

    FIRST TIMERS In each of the Salukis’ last five wins, an SIU pitcher has recorded his first career victory. Of the Dawgs’ eight wins this season, only one of them has been recorded by a pitcher who had at least one career win entering the season. SIU’s freshmen pitchers are a combined 6-0 this season. Senior reliever Matt Murphy is the only Saluki veteran with a win this year

    CLOSE CALLS Five of SIU’s last six games have been decided by two runs or less. SIU is 4-1 in one-run games, 1-1 in two-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 20-6 after the sixth inning this season. SIU is 6-0 when entering the seventh inning with a lead.

    SATURDAY, SUNDAY STARTERS On Saturday, Todd Eaton will make his fourth start of the season and his seventh career start. Last Saturday against Northern Illinois, he turned in the best start of his career but took a no-decision. Eaton allowed one run off four hits in six inning of work. After surrendering three-straight singles to start the game, he allowed one hit the rest of the way and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced. On Sunday, Aaron Hauge will make his third career start for the Salukis. Last Saturday, the junior southpaw held NIU to two hits in six scoreless innings to earn his first Division I victory.

    DRAY ASCENDING SAVES LIST On Wednesday, Tyler Dray earned his third save of the season and the 12th of his career. That puts him alone in fifth place on SIU’s all-time list. He is three saves away from tying Andrew Weber for fourth place. With his last appearance, Dray also became only the fourth pitcher in school history to appear in 80 career games. His next appearance will tie him with Adam Snyder for third place.

    LIGHTS OUT RELIEVERS SIU’s relievers have posted a combined 0.54 ERA and recorded six of the team’s eight victories. The bullpen has allowed three earned runs in 50.1 innings of work. Of the 10 relief pitchers the Salukis have used this season, only three of them have surrendered an earned run.

    AWAY FROM HOME The Salukis are starting the season by playing 15 games road or neutral games before playing their first home game. This is the most non-home games to start a season for the Salukis since 1990 when SIU played 10 neutral site games and five road games before its home opener. That year Southern Illinois won nine of its first 10 home games en route to its last conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance.

    Parker Osborne In the last five games, outfielder Parker Osborne is hitting .421 (8-for-19). He is the only Saluki with more than 12 at-bats during that stretch who is hitting better than .200. In Wednesday’s win over Belmont, he recorded a season-high three hits.

    NEW HOME Southern Illinois will play its home games at new Richard “Itchy” Jones Stadium. The facility is being named in honor of SIU’s all-time winningest coach thanks to a $4 million renovation at the site of Abe Martin Field. SIU will open the new facility with a three-game series against Illinois March 14-16. The stadium features a new AstroTurf playing surface, the installation of stadium lights and new dugouts along with a new press box, seating bowl and concession area.

    LOOKING AHEAD After this weekend, SIU will conclude the road trip with a nonconference game against College World Series runner up Mississippi State on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. The Salukis will then open a seven-game homestand, beginning with the home opener against Illinois on Friday, March 14.