SIU opens series at Purdue Friday

    Austin Montgomery leads SIU with a .354 average, seven homers and 39 RBI.

    Austin Montgomery leads SIU with a .354 average, seven homers and 39 RBI.
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    May 2, 2013

    Southern Illinois (21-21, 3-12 MVC) vs. Purdue (13-27, 5-13 Big Ten)
     Date Friday, May 3-Sunday, May 5
     Time Friday - 6 p.m., Saturday - 6 p.m., Sunday - noon (All times Central)
     Location Alexander Field - West Lafayette, Ind. 
     Probables Fri. - LHP Cody Forsythe (2-3, 2.79 ERA) vs. RHP Robert Ramer (2-4, 5.27 ERA)
    Sat. - RHP Sam Coonrod (3-3, 4.08 ERA) vs. Jordan Minch (5-4, 5.37 ERA)
    Sun. - LHP Derek Fogel (0-3, 3.88 ERA) vs. TBA
     Radio Friday and Saturday - 105.1 WVZA-FM, Sunday - 1300 WFRX-AM
    All three games streaming live on Saluki All-Access.
     Video Boilermakers All-Access (pay)
     Game Notes Southern Illinois Get Acrobat Reader | Purdue Get Acrobat Reader
     Live Stats Friday | Saturday | Sunday
     Social Media @SIU_Baseball

    LEADING OFF The Salukis will begin a stretch of six straight road games when they make their first ever visit to Purdue for a three-game nonconference series. The series starts Friday at 6 p.m. Central Time.

    FRIDAY’S STARTER Cody Forsythe will make his 12th start of the season and the 46th start of his career. He is SIU’s all-time leader in career starts and enters the weekend eight innings shy of matching the school’s career record of 324 and two-thirds innings pitched. In his last outing, the senior captain took a perfect game into the sixth inning against Wichita State. He allowed two runs, one earned, off three hits in seven innings of work to earn his first conference win of the season. Forsythe is 1-1 with a 1.85 ERA in five road starts this season.

    PURDUE SERIES NOTES Friday’s game will be just the sixth all-time meeting between the two schools. Southern Illinois leads the all-time series, 4-1. In the most recent matchup, the Salukis took two out of three from the Boilermakers in Carbondale in 2010. This will be SIU’s first ever game in West Lafayette, Ind.

    SCOUTING THE BOILERMAKERS Purdue lost seven starting position players and two starting pitchers from its 2012 Big Ten championship team. After dropping two out of three games at Michigan State last weekend, the Boilers have lost 11 of their last 13 games and are in ninth place in the 11-team Big Ten with a 5-13 conference record. Purdue is 11th in the Big Ten with a .257 team batting average and has only one hitter, Josh Estill, batting over .300. The Boilers are also last in the Big Ten with a team ERA of 6.98.

    WORKING OVERTIME After Wednesday’s 10-inning victory, the Salukis have now played seven extra-inning games this season. That is the most extra-inning games in an SIU season since the Salukis played eight of them in 2001. Southern is 3-4 in extra innings this season but has won three of its last four extra-inning affairs.

    MONTGOMERY IN TOP 10 With five RBIs in his last two games, senior Austin Montgomery has moved into eighth place on SIU’s career list with 139 RBI. His three hits on Wednesday also moved him into 10th place for career total bases by a Saluki with 342. The senior is five hits away from joining the top 10 for career hits and one double away from being in the top 10 for career doubles.

    WELCH LEADING IN RUNS Jake Welch has scored a run in five of the last six games and enters the weekend leading the Missouri Valley Conference with 43 runs scored. Last year his teammate Chris Serritella scored 56 runs and became the first Saluki to lead the MVC in runs scored since Kurt Endebrock did it in 1990.

    ROAD HITTING NOTES Southern Illinois is hitting slightly better at home with a .290 average at Abe Martin Field compared to a .275 averge on the road. However, 17 of SIU’s 22 home runs have come on the road, and the Dawgs are slugging .397 in road games compared to a .365 slugging percentage at home. Matt Jones leads the Salukis with a .354 batting average in road games this season. 

    SATURDAY, SUNDAY STARTERS On Saturday, Sam Coonrod will make his 12th start of the season. In his last outing, he allowed four runs, two of them earned, in four and a third innings of work. After pitching at least five innings in six of his first seven starts, he has only completed the fifth inning once in his last four outings. The sophomore is seven and two-thirds of an inning and seven strikeouts away from surpassing his freshman season totals. Derek Fogel will make his 11th start of the season and his fourth Sunday start of the year. In his last outing, he allowed two runs in five innings of work before the first two batters reached and scored unearned runs in the sixth. Despite leaving in line for the victory in four games this season, the junior transfer from Cowley (Kan.) Community College is still looking for his first Division I win.

    SALUKIS VS. THE BIG TEN Southern Illinois has a combined 56-54-2 all-time record against current Big Ten members. The Salukis hold a winning or even record against seven of the 10 Big Ten schools they have faced. Their best record against a Big Ten school is the 4-1 mark against Purdue. The only current Big Ten baseball team SIU has never played is Northwestern.

    LIGHTS OUT Reliever Tyler Dray has allowed only one earned run over his last 17 appearances. During that stretch, he has recorded 13 strikeouts and allowed 11 hits in 17 innings of work. The junior’s next appearance will give him 72 for his career and tie him with Jim Pecoraro for fifth most in SIU history.

    UNDER THE LIGHTS On Friday and Saturday, SIU will play consecutive night games for the first time this season. The Salukis are 1-4 in night games this year. Four of those games were true road contests, and other was at neutral Rent One Park in Marion, Ill. Renovation plans call for lights to be installed at Abe Martin Field for the 2014 season.

    NONCONFERENCE WEEKENDS In 2013, Southern Illinois has won three of its six nonconference weekend series along with one weather-shortened two-game split with Western Kentucky. The Dawgs have an overall record of 10-7 in those series and have swept Northern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky.

    HIGH AND LOW After surrendering a season-high 16 hits in Tuesday’s 11-7 loss to Illinois, SIU turned around and held Belmont to a season-low three hits in 10 innings in Wednesday’s 2-1 win. The Saluki pitching staff’s previous season low for hits in a game was four against Indiana State.

    LOOKING AHEAD With final exams scheduled for next week, Southern Illinois will not play a midweek game. The Salukis will be on the road for a three-game conference series against Bradley beginning Friday, May 10. On Tuesday, May 14, SIU will wrap up its nonconference schedule against Saint Louis in Sauget, Ill. before finishing the regular season at home with a three-game series against Illinois State beginning Thursday, May 16.