SIU to face Mizzou, Murray State in pair of midweek games

    Parker Osborne leads the team with a .329 batting average.

    Parker Osborne leads the team with a .329 batting average.
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    March 31, 2014

    Southern Illinois Salukis (14-12) vs. Missouri Tigers (13-13)
    Murray State Thoroughbreds (13-12) vs. Southern Illinois Salukis (14-12) 
     Date Tuesday, April 1 vs. Missouri. Wednesday, April 2 vs. Murray State
     Time Tue.: 6:30 p.m., Wed.: 5:00 p.m.
     Location Tue.: T.R. Hughes Ballpark - O'Fallon, Mo.
    Wed.: Itchy Jones Stadium - Carbondale, Ill. 
     Tuesday
     Probables
    SIU: RHP Connor McFadden (1-1, 6.41 ERA)
    MO: RHP Peter Fairbanks (2-2, 6.06 ERA)
     Wednesday
     Probables 
    MUR: RHP Andrew Bramley (1-2, 7.58 ERA)
    SIU: TBA 
     Radio 105.1 WVZA-FM and streaming live on Salukis All-Access.
    Mike Reis will call the play-by-play. 
     Video Saluki All-Access
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader | Missouri Get Acrobat Reader | Murray State Get Acrobat ReaderMVC Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Tuesday | Wednesday
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | Missouri | Murray StateMVC
     All-Time Series SIU-MO: even, 14-14. SIU-MUR: SIU leads, 44-17
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball  | @SIU_Baseball  | Saluki Athletics 

    LEADING OFF Southern Illinois will play a pair of midweek, nonconference games this week. On Tuesday, the Salukis will face the University of Missouri at 6:30 p.m. in O’Fallon, Mo. before returning home to host Murray State on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Itchy Jones Stadium. SIU has a combined record of 6-2 in home and neutral site games this season.

    TUESDAY’S STARTER Connor McFadden is slated to make his seventh start of the season. In his last outing, he faced 12 batters but only recorded three outs in a game SIU lost, 7-6, at Murray State. In 19.2 innings of work, he has struck out 19 batters but walked a team-high 23. SIU is 4-2 in McFadden’s starts this season, but he has only finished the fifth inning once and factored in a decision twice.

    MISSOURI SERIES NOTES The all-time series is even at 14-14 in a rivalry that dates back to 1973. This will be only the fourth meeting between the two teams since 2000. SIU has won three in a row and five of its last six games against Missouri. The last two games were also played at T.R. Hughes Ballpark. The Salukis are 3-1 all-time against Mizzou on a neutral field.

    SCOUTING THE TIGERS Missouri took two out of three games at Auburn this weekend to get back to .500 overall. The Tigers are tied for sixth in the SEC Eastern Division with a 3-6 conference mark. Mizzou ranks 13th in the 14-team league in both batting average (.260) and ERA (3.66). Senior first baseman Kendall Keeton leads the team with a .348 average while pitcher/outfielder Eric Anderson has a team-leading .883 OPS. Peter Fairbanks will make his fourth start of the season. He has also made six relief appearances.

    MURRAY STATE SERIES NOTES Southern Illinois leads the all-time series, 44-17. At home against the Thoroughbreds, SIU holds a 23-7 advantage and has won 12 of the last 13 matchups. The two teams first met in 1974 and have played at least one game annually since 1997. The Salukis and Murray State have split a two-game season series in each of the last four years. Ken Henderson is 4-4 all-time as head coach against Murray State. SIU lost 7-6 in 10 innings last Wednesday in Murray.

    HIT ME First baseman Ryan Casillas was hit by a pitch four times last week. Less than halfway through his second season at SIU, he has already moved into a tie for sixth place on SIU’s all-time hit by pitch list. After being plunked 15 times in 2013, the second-highest single-season total in school history, he has worn six pitches this year. That matches Sal Frisella, who was hit 21 times in his four-year career. Casillas is five plunkings away from tying Jerry Hairson Jr. for fifth on the Salukis’ career list. 

    Parker Osborne CAN’T LOSE Over his last five games, Parker Osborne is hitting a scorching 9 for 18 to raise his batting average from .279 to .329, which leads the team. The junior transfer from Chandler-Gilbert Community College has multiple hits in four of those five games as well as an RBI in four of those five games. He also drove in the go-ahead run in Saturday’s 11-inning win over Missouri State.

    LONG STORY After playing extra innings in the last two games of the Missouri State series, SIU has now played extra innings in four of its last six games and seven times overall in 2014. The only other team in the Valley that has played more than two extra-inning games is Missouri State, and two of the Bears’ four extra-inning games were against the Salukis.

    ONE-RUN GAMES Of SIU’s 26 games this season, more than half have been decided by one run. The Salukis’ mark of 14 one-run games in 2014 is second-most in the nation behind only Cal-State Northridge, which has had 15 of its 28 games decided by one run.

    LOOKING AHEAD This weekend the Salukis will return to conference play with a three-game series against Bradley at Itchy Jones Stadium. The series begins Friday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. with the first-ever night game at Itchy Jones Stadium. The Dawgs will then head to Southeast Missouri State for a single game on Tuesday at 5 p.m. before returning home to begin a three-game conference series against Indiana State on Friday, April 11.


     

     

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