SIU begins conference play with series at Missouri State

    Cody Daily is hitting .522 with four doubles and four RBIs in his last five games

    Cody Daily is hitting .522 with four doubles and four RBIs in his last five games
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    March 27, 2014

    Southern Illinois Salukis (13-10, 0-0 MVC) vs. Missouri State Bears (10-13, 1-2 MVC)
     Date Friday, March 28 - Sunday, March 30
     Time Fri. - 6:35 p.m., Sat. - 2:05 p.m., Sun. - 1:05 p.m.
     Location Hammons Field - Springfield, Mo. 
     Game 1
    SIU: RHP Sam Coonrod (0-2, 3.45 ERA)
    MSU: RHP Cody Schumacher (4-1, 1.21 ERA)
     Game 2
    SIU: RHP Todd Eaton (1-2, 5.11 ERA)
    MSU: RHP Jon Harris (1-3, 2.32 ERA) 
     Game 3
    SIU: LHP Aaron Hauge (3-1, 1.26 ERA)
    SIU: RHP Matt Hall (1-3, 4.50 ERA) 
     Radio Fri. - 105.1 WVZA-FM, Sat. - 1300 WFRX-AM, Sun. - 1300 WFRX-AM
    All games stream live on Salukis All-Access. Mike Reis will call the play-by-play. 
     Video Saluki All-Access
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader | MVC Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Friday | Saturday | Sunday
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Missouri State | MVC
     All-Time Series Missouri State leads, 60-34
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball  | @SIU_Baseball  | Saluki Athletics 

    LEADING OFF Southern Illinois will open the conference season on the road against Missouri State with a three-game series that begins on Friday, March 28 at 6:35 p.m. The Salukis have won five of their last seven games and will try to break a five-game road losing streak.

    FRIDAY’S STARTER Junior Sam Coonrod will make his seventh start of the season and the 32nd start of his career. He is coming off of one of the strongest outings of his career. Last Friday against Purdue, he scattered six hits and matched a season-high with six strikeouts in six scoreless innings as he took a no-decision against Purdue. In his last four starts, Coonrod is 0-2 with a 2.86 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22.0 innings of work.

    SATURDAY'S STARTER Todd Eaton will make his seventh start of the season and his 10th career start. In his last  outing, he allowed four runs off seven hits in 7.2 innings of work and took a no-decision as SIU beat Purdue in 16  innings. It was the first start this season that Eaton did not allow a run in the first inning. In his six starts in 2014, 11 of the 23 runs he has allowed have come in the first inning.

    SUNDAY'S STARTER Aaron Hauge will make his fifth career start with the Salukis. He is sixth in the MVC with a 1.26 ERA and enters the weekend with an active scoreless streak of 15.2 innings. In his last outing, he tossed 5.0 scoreless innings and struck out  five as he picked up his team-leading third win of the season. Over his last four starts, Hauge has allowed two runs off 14 hits in 25.0 innings of work.

    SCOUTING THE BEARS After suffering through a nine-game losing streak, Missouri State has won two of its last three games. The Bears opened conference play last weekend and lost two out of three games at Wichita State. MSU hitters are last in the Missouri Valley Conference with a .252 team batting average and lead the Valley with 168 strikeouts. First-team All-MVC second baseman Eric Cheray is batting .302 and is the only Bear hitting better than .285. The Bears have posted a 3.19 ERA, which ranks fifth in the eight-team conference.  Friday starter Cody Schumacher ranks fifth in the MVC in ERA (1.21) and strikeouts (37).

    ONE-RUN GAMES Entering the weekend, Southern Illinois has played 13 one-run games, which is tied with Cal State-Northridge for the most in the nation. SIU has played 23 games, and 60.8 percent of those games have been decided by one run. That is the highest percentage of all 296 Division I baseball programs this season. 10 of SIU’s last 14 games have been one-run contests, and four of those games were decided in extra-innings. The Salukis have won four of their last six one-run games and are 8-5 overall in one-run games in 2014.

    LAST 5 GAMES Southern Illinois is hiting .315 over its last five games and has recorded double-digit hits in each of those games. However, during that stretch, SIU is only averaging 4.0 runs per game, which is actually 0.17 runs per game lower than its season average. In the last five games, SIU has 63 hits but has stranded 66 runners. That includes a season-high 18 left on base in last Saturday’s 16-inning win over Purdue.

    FRESHMAN ARMS Southern Illinois’ five freshman pitchers have combined to throw 32.9 percent of SIU’s innings this season. That is the highest percentage in the MVC. Indiana State has the second-highest percentage of freshman innings at 27.5 percent. The Saluki freshman pitchers have thrown 70.0 of SIU’s 213.0 innings this season. In addition, freshmen have accounted for six of SIU’s 13 wins this year.

    ENTERING CONFERENCE Southern Illinois has an overall record of 13-10 (.565), which is the second-best record SIU has had taken into its first conference game since 2007. In the last seven seasons, the only time the Salukis have had a better record entering conference play was when they began the season with a 12-9 (.571) mark in 2012.

    BATTLING THE BEARS Hitters on SIU’s current roster have combined to hit .296 over their careers against Missouri State. Jake Welch has 49 at-bats against the Bears, the most at-bats of any Saluki, and has hit .347 against MSU in 11 games. Ryan Casillas went 5 for 10 with a pair of RBIs in three games against Missouri State in 2013.

    WELCH NEARING TOP 10 Jake Welch is tied for ninth all-time at SIU with 774 career at-bats. He also has 231 hits, 15 away from tying for 10th most in school history. He has drawn 89 career walks, which is seven shy of tying for 10th on SIU’s career list. His 140 runs are also seven shy of 10th place on SIU’s all-time list.

    HISTORIC LOWS The Salukis rank second in the Misouri Valley Conference and 31st in the nation with a team ERA of 2.75. The Dawgs have also held opponents to a .215 batting average, which is 19 points lower than any other team in the MVC. Southern Illinois has not finished a season with a team ERA under 3.00 since the Salukis had a 2.71 ERA in 1979. SIU hasn’t posted a team ERA under 4.00 since 2005. The .215 batting average is the lowest against the Salukis since SIU held opposing hitters to a .203 average in 1974.

    LOOKING AHEAD After this weekend, SIU will face Mizzou in O’Fallon, Mo. on Tuesday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. and then return home to host Murray State the following day at 5 p.m. Next weekend, the Salukis will host their first conference series at Itchy Jones Stadium when Bradley comes to town for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m.