Baseball clashes with Saint Louis Tuesday

    Aaron Snyder will make his first start of the season on Tuesday. He is tied for the team lead with 23 relief appearances.

    Aaron Snyder will make his first start of the season on Tuesday. He is tied for the team lead with 23 relief appearances.
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    May 14, 2012

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Southern Illinois University baseball team (25-26) will face the Saint Louis University Billikens (37-15) in a non-conference game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill. After finishing their conference schedule on Sunday, the Salukis have four regular season games remaining.

    Tuesday, May 15
    7 p.m.
    Probable Starters:
       SLU: RHP Zack Smith (2-0, 3.91 ERA)
       SIU: RHP Aaron Snyder (1-3, 4.00 ERA)
    Location: Sauget, Ill.
    Radio: Broadcast live on WVZA 105.1-FM and streaming on Game Central.
    Video: None

    Game Notes

    TUESDAY’S STARTER Right-handed pitcher Aaron Snyder will make the second start of his career and his first start since 2010. Snyder is 1-3 with a 4.00 ERA this season. He is tied for the team lead with 23 relief appearances. On Saturday in his last outing, Snyder tossed three scoreless innings and allowed just two hits. It was his longest outing of the season and one out shy of matching the longest outing of his SIU career.

    SAINT LOUIS SERIES NOTES SIU leads the all-time series, 58-14, and has won eight of its last 10 games against the Billikens. In 2011 the two teams split a two-game season series with each school winning one game on the road. In the last meeting, the Salukis won 14-4 at Saint Louis. It was the first time that SIU had played Saint Louis twice in the same season since 1992. Southern has historically dominated the series, at one point going 25 years between losses to SLU. Legendary SIU Coach Richard “Itch” Jones won all 31 games he coached against SLU during his tenure at Southern from 1970 through 1990.

    SCOUTING THE BILLIKENS Saint Louis clinched its first Atlantic 10 regular season championship on Sunday by completing a three-game sweep of Charlotte. The Billikens have won seven in a row and 11 of their last 12 games to improve their record to 37-15 overall. Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.14, tops in the 13-team conference. Righty Zack Smith will make the start in Tuesday’s game. He is 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts and eight relief appearances. SLU is hitting .283 as a team in 52 games this season. Offensively Alex Kelly leads the team in all three triple-crown categories. He is hitting .335 with seven home runs and 37 RBI.

    CONFERENCE SEEDING After completing its conference schedule with a record of 9-12, SIU can do no worse than the sixth seed in the MVC Tournament. The only way the Salukis can move up to the fifth seed is if next weekend’s Evansville versus Illinois State series results in a sweep. In that case, SIU would leapfrog the team that is swept.

    SERRITELLA’S STREAK Chris Serritella has a hit in 25 of his last 26 games and enters the week with a 17-game hitting streak, the longest by a Saluki hitter this season. He has hit .413 during the hitting streak to raise his season average to .393. With a 34 point lead in the batting race, Serritella has a chance to be the first SIU player to win the MVC batting title since P.J. Finigan hit .388 in 2005 and the first Saluki to hit .400 since Braden Gibbs hit .412 in 1994.

    LOOKING AHEAD The Salukis will finish the regular season against IPFW with a three-game series beginning Thursday at 3 p.m. at Abe Martin Field. The Missouri Valley Conference Tournament is scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 22 at Hammons Field in Springfield, Mo.