Sam Coonrod struck out a career-high 11 batters in his last outing.
April 3, 2014
|Bradley Braves (15-9, 1-5 MVC) Southern Illinois Salukis (16-12, 1-2 MVC)|
|Date||Friday, April 4 - Sunday, April 6|
|Time||Fri. - 6:30 p.m., Sat. - 2:00 p.m., Sun. - 1:00 p.m.|
|Location||Itchy Jones Stadium - Carbondale, Ill.|
| Game 1
|BU: RHP Elliot Ashbeck (4-0, 1.29 ERA)
SIU: RHP Sam Coonrod (0-3, 3.21 ERA)
| Game 2
|BU: RHP Stephen Toma (1-2, 6.44 ERA)
SIU: RHP Todd Eaton (1-2, 5.11 ERA)
| Game 3
|BU: LHP Cameron Roegner (4-1, 3.47 ERA)
SIU: LHP Aaron Hauge (3-1, 1.87 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.
|Game Notes||Southern Illinois | MVC|
|Season Stats||Southern Illinois | Bradley | MVC|
|All-Time Series||SIU leads, 83-68-1|
|Social Media||@SIU_Baseball | @SIU_Baseball | Saluki Athletics|
LEADING OFF Southern Illinois will host Bradley this weekend for the Salukis’ first home conference series at new Itchy Jones Stadium. The three-game series will start with the first home night game in program history on Friday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. It will be a Withers Broadcasting Family Friday. Fans can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, nachos or pretzels and four fountain drinks for only $25 total. SIU has won two in a row overall and six of its last seven home games.
FRIDAY’S STARTER Sam Coonrod will make his eighth start of the season and the 33rd start of his career, which will tie him for 12th all-time at SIU. In his last outing the junior pitched 5.0 innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters, including seven in a row at one point, but took the loss in an 8-3 defeat at Missouri State. He allowed five runs, but only one was earned. In his last two starts, Coonrod has allowed one earned run and struck out 17 in 11.0 innings of work.
SATURDAY'S STARTER Todd Eaton will make his eighth start of the season and his 11th career start. In his last outing, he allowed four runs off six hits in 7.0 innings of work and took a no-decision as SIU beat Missouri State 9-5 in 11 innings. After starting the game with three scoreless innings, Eaton allowed three runs in the fourth. He departed after surrendering a game-tying home run to the leadoff batter in the eighth.
SUNDAY'S STARTER On Sunday, Aaron Hauge will make his sixth career start with the Salukis. He is eighth in the MVC with a 1.87 ERA and has held opponents to a .203 batting average. In his last outing, he broke a scoreless streak of 16.0 innings by allowing a two-run first-inning home run. He stayed in to finish the fifth, allowing one run off three hits the rest of the way. Hauge has not allowed a run in 12.0 innings at home this season.
SCOUTING THE BRAVES After starting the year 15-5, Bradley has lost four games in a row. Last weekend Dallas Baptist swept the Braves in Peoria. Bradley is tied with Illinois State for the conference lead with a .297 team batting average. Issac Smith and Tyler Leffler are No. 1 and 3 in the MVC with a .452 and .400 average, respectively. However, the Braves are last in the Valley with a 4.36 ERA. Elliot Ashbeck is fourth in the MVC with a 1.29 ERA and fifth in the league with four wins.
HOME COOKING SIU has posted a 6-2 record at Itchy Jones Stadium. The Salukis are hitting .317 at home compared to a .249 batting average away from Carbondale. SIU averages 11.6 hits per game at home and has recorded double-digit hits in its last five home games. The pitching staff has also faired slightly better at home, posting a 2.96 ERA compared to a 3.19 ERA in road and neutral site games.
TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM Ryan Casillas has been hit by a pitch six times in the last six games. Halfway through his second season at SIU, he is already in fifth 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 eight pitches this year. Casillas is three plunkings away from tying Jerry Hairson Jr. for fifth on the Salukis’ career list.
ONE-RUN GAMES More than half of SIU’s 28 games this season have been decided by one run. The Salukis’ mark of 15 one-run games in 2014 is tied for the most in the nation with Cal-State Northridge, which has also had 15 of its 28 games decided by one run. SIU is 9-6 in one-run games.
WELCH’S WALKS Jake Welch leads the team with 21 walks, which is tied for fourth in the MVC. After averaging a walk every 8.9 at-bats in 2013, he is averaging a walk every 5.0 at-bats in 2014. With 27 regular season games left on the schedule, he is already seven walks away from matching his career high of 28, which he set last year. Welch is on pace for 43 walks, which would tie for the sixth-highest single-season total in school history. The senior has 91 career free passes, which puts him five away from joining the top 10 on SIU’s all-time list.
BATTLING THE BRAVES Cody Daily is the only current Saluki hitting better than .280 against Bradley in his career. Last season, he went 4 for 12 with three RBIs in three games against the Braves.
HIGH WATER MARK With a win on Friday, SIU would improve to 17-12 and match a season-best by being five games over .500. The Salukis started this season 8-3. The last time SIU was more than five games over .500 was on March 16, 2012 when the Salukis held a 12-6 record.
CASILLAS RBI NOTES Ryan Casillas has driven in eight runs in his last four games to give him 25 RBIs on the year. That ranks fourth in the Valley and is nearly double the second-highest total on the team. Matt Jones is second with 13 RBIs. Casillas had 30 RBIs in 2013. Not surprisingly, Casillas is hitting .349 with runners in scoring position, which is tops among Salukis with at least 20 at-bats with runners in scoring position.
LOOKING AHEAD After this weekend, SIU will face Southeast Missouri State for a road contest on Tuesday, April 8 at 5 p.m. The Salukis will then return home for a five-game homestand. They will host a three-game series against conference foe Indiana State beginning Friday, April 11 at 6:30 p.m. The homestand will conclude with back-to-back midweek nonconfeence games against Ohio Valley Conference schools UT Martin and Austin Peay on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.