Salukis host UT Martin for Tuesday's nonconference game

    Todd Eaton earned his team-leading fifth save of the season on Sunday.

    Todd Eaton earned his team-leading fifth save of the season on Sunday.
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    April 15, 2013

    UT Maratin (10-25, 3-15 OVC) at Southern Illinois (17-18, 2-7 MVC)
     Date Tuesday, April 16
     Time 3 p.m.
     Location Carbondale, Ill. - Abe Martin Field 
     Probables RHP Cody Miller (0-0, 9.53 ERA) vs. LHP Brad Drust (2-2, 6.16 ERA)
     Radio WFRX 1300-AM and streaming live on Saluki All-Access
     Video Saluki All-Access
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Gametracker
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball

    LEADING OFF The Southern Illinois baseball team will look to even it’s season record as it wraps up a five-game homestand with a nonconference matchup with the UT Martin Skyhawks on Tuesday, April 16. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

    TUESDAY’S STARTER Lefty Brad Drust will make his fifth start of the season and the 13th start of his career. The redshirt junior earned a win in his last outing. He allowed three runs off seven hits in five innings of work as SIU pounded Southeast Missouri State 25-3. A native of nearby Carterville, Ill., Drust has compiled a 1-1 record with a 3.52 ERA as a starter in 2013. He tossed four scoreless innings in his only appearance at home this season.

    UT MARTIN SERIES NOTES SIU leads the all-time series 26-8 and defeated the Skyhawks 8-4 in Martin on Feb. 19 of this season. The two teams have met for a home-and-home series every year since 2005. The Salukis will be looking to sweep the season series from the Skyhawks for the eighth time and first time since 2010. SIU has won seven of its last eight meetings with UT Martin at Abe Martin Field.

    SCOUTING THE SKYHAWKS UTM lost two out of three games at Eastern Kentucky this weekend to drop its record to 10-25 on the season. The Skyhawks are last in the Ohio Valley Conference with a 3-15 conference mark. UT Martin is hitting .268 as a team, which ranks eighth out of 11 OVC teams. The Skyhawks are led by Byron Johann, who is hitting .343 on the year. UT Martin has posted a 7.37 team ERA, which ranks 291st out of 296 Division I teams. Cody Miller is making his first start of the season. He has compiled a 9.53 ERA in seven relief appearances.

    The Last Meeting
    Southern Illinois8
    February 19, 2013
    Martin, Tenn.
    Early rally lifts SIU to 8-4 win at UT Martin
    Southern Illinois (2-2) built a 5-0 lead through three innings and recorded a season-best 15 hits. Luke Mottashed lead the offensive charge with four hits and drove in four runs as Bryce Sablotny recorded the win in his first start for the Salukis.

    CLOSING THE DOOR With his save in Sunday’s 8-5 win over Missouri State, Todd Eaton moved into a third-place tie with Andrew Weber on SIU’s all-time saves list with 15 career saves. Eaton, a junior, is four saves away from matching former Anaheim Angels reliever Al Levine, who had 19 saves in his career with the Salukis. Bryant George is the school’s all-time leader with 30. 

    SALUKI SLUGGERS In its last six games, SIU is averaging 15 hits and nearly 11 runs per game. In Tuesday’s 25-3 win over Southeast Missouri State, the Dawgs were one run shy of matching the school record for runs in a game and for largest margin of victory.

    EARLY OFFENSE Southern Illinois has scored in the first inning in eight of its last 10 games. However, SIU’s opponent has also scored in the first inning in four of the last five games. In the two games in the recent stretch in which the Salukis didn’t score in the first inning, SIU managed to score in the second or third inning. 

    CASILLAS’ CONSISTENCY Following Sunday’s game, first baseman Ryan Casillas has reached base safely in 23 consecutive games, which is among the longest streaks in the nation. That is the longest such streak since Chris Serritella reached safely in 24 straight games in 2012. Serritella also had a streak of 28 games reaching base safely in 2010. The last game in which Casillas didn’t reach base safely was March 6. Since then he has steadily raised his average from .250 to .323.

    DOWNING THE OVC Southern Illinois is 9-4 against Ohio Valley Conference members this season and has won six consecutive games against OVC schools. Next Tuesday’s matchup with Southeast Missouri State will be SIU’s final game against an OVC school this season.

    LOOKING AHEAD This weekend the Salukis will visit Creighton for a three-game conference series beginning on Friday, April 19. The finale of the series will be aired live nationwide on ESPNU at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Next week the Dawgs will be back home to host Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday, April 23 before welcoming Wichita State to town for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 26.