Salukis host UT Martin and Austin Peay Tuesday and Wednesday

    Brad Drust will make his first start of the season on Tuesday against UT Martin.

    Brad Drust will make his first start of the season on Tuesday against UT Martin.
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    April 14, 2014

    UT Martin Skyhawks (4-29) vs. Southern Illinois Salukis (18-17)
    Austin Peay Governors (14-22) vs. Southern Illinois Salukis (18-17) 
     Dates Tue., April 15 vs. UT Martin. Wed., April 2 vs. Austin Peay
     Time Tue.: 5 p.m., Wed.: 4:30 p.m.
     Location Itchy Jones Stadium - Carbondale, Ill. 
    UTM: RHP Chris Ross (0-3, 8.82 ERA)
    SIU: LHP Brad Drust (0-0, 5.40 ERA)
    APSU: RHP Caleb Powell (0-1, 7.81)
    SIU: RHP Austin McPheron (1-1, 2.87 ERA) 
     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 | UT Martin Get Acrobat ReaderMVC Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats
     Season Stats Southern Illinois | UT Martin | Austin Peay | MVC
     All-Time Series SIU-UTM: SIU leads, 28-8. SIU-APSU: SIU leads, 22-10
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball  | @SIU_Baseball  | Saluki Athletics 

    LEADING OFF Southern Illinois (18-17, 3-6 MVC) will look to complete the season sweep of a pair of Ohio Valley Conference schools when the Salukis host UT Martin (4-29, 3-15 OVC) and Austin Peay (14-22, 6-9 OVC) for a pair of midweek games.

    TUESDAY’S STARTER Brad Drust will make his first start of the season and the 17th start of his SIU career. The lefty has made one relief appearance in 2014. He allowed two runs, one of them earned, in 1.2 innings at home against Murray State. In eight midweek starts in 2013, Drust went 2-2 with a 6.55 ERA.

    WEDNESDAY’S STARTER Austin McPheron will make his third consecutive midweek start and his first career start at home. The freshman has allowed five runs in 7.2 innings over his last two starts, which were against Missouri and Southeast Missouri State. He is 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA in two starts and 1-0 in 8.0 scoreless innings over seven relief appearances.

    UT MARTIN SERIES NOTES Southern Illinois leads the all-time series by a 28-8 margin. The two teams have played a two-game home-and-home season series annually since 2005. SIU is 14-5 against the Skyhawks since 2005 and has won eight of nine home games against UTM during that stretch. The Salukis swept the season series last year, and after beating the Skyhawks 6-2 on Feb. 25 of this year, have won four in a row against UT Martin.

    SCOUTING THE SKYHAWKS UT Martin snapped an 11-game losing streak with a 9-4 win on Sunday at home against Eastern Kentucky. The Skyhawks are last in the 11-team OVC in both batting average and ERA. UTM is hitting .206 as a team. Taylor Douglas leads the club with a .333 average and 12 doubles to go along with 16 RBIs. He is the only Skyhawk hitting better than .278. UTM has a team ERA of 6.79. Chris Ross will make his third start of the season.

    AUSTIN PEAY SERIES NOTES Southern Illinois leads the all-time series, 22-10. Last year, the two teams met for the first time since 2000 and split the two-game season series with each team winning one game at home. Southern Illinois beat APSU 14-4 on Feb. 18 in Clarksville, Tenn. and has now won 10 of its last 14 games against the Governors.

    SCOUTING THE GOVERNORSAustin Peay dropped two out of three games against Southeast Missouri State this weekend to fall to 14-22 overall. The Governors rank seventh in the OVC with a .270 team batting average. They are third in the conference with an average production of 6.6 runs per game. Alex Robles leads the team and ranks fifth in the conference with a .362 batting average. Austin Peay has a team ERA of 6.20, which ranks eighth in the OVC. Caleb Powell will make his sixth start of the season.

    CLOSE GAMES SIU’s last four games have each been decided by one run. With 35 games played this season, Southern Illinois has played a nation-leading 19 one-run games. That is 54 percent of SIU’s games. No other team in the nation has played more than 16 one-run games. In addition, SIU played its nation-leading eighth extra-innings game of the season on Friday. That matches last year’s season total. The Salukis are 10-9 in one-run games and 4-4 in one-run games.

    WELCH’S WALKS Jake Welch has drawn 10 walks in his last six games and leads the MVC with 31 free passes. That is three more than anyone else in the league. He tied for 11th in the nation in walks. This past weekend, he became the seventh Saluki ever to draw 100 career walks. He enters the week with 101 career walks, which is tied for fourth on SIU’s all-time list, two behind Kevin Koski for third.

    TOP DAWGS After nine MVC games, the Salukis boast two of the top five batting averages in Missouri Valley Conference games this season. Ryan Casillas ranks third in the Valley with a .395 average, and Dyllin Mucha is tied for fourth with a .391 average. The rest of the team is batting .212 in conference games.

    ALONG GAME PAULY Saluki freshman reliever Kyle Pauly enters the week with a scoreless streak of 11.1 innings, which stretches over his last six outings. He is 1-0 with a save in 10.0 conference innings season. Pauly is the only pitcher in the MVC who has thrown at least 10 innings in conference games this season without allowing a run.

    FIRST INNING NOTES SIU has allowed a run in the first inning in three of its last four games. The Salukis have only scored in the first inning nine times this season while their opponents have scored in the first inning in 21 of 35 games. Meanwhile, SIU has outscored its opponents 77-49 from the sixth inning on.

    LOOKING AHEAD Southern Illinois will return to the road this weekend for a conference series against preseason favorite Wichita State beginning Friday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. SIU will host Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday, April 22 at 5 p.m. at Itchy Jones Stadium before heading back on the road to face in-state MVC rival Illinois State in a three-game series beginning Friday, April 25 at 6 p.m.