Five Salukis earn MVC Baseball Scholar-Athlete honors

    Austin Montgomery was voted a First-Team MVC Scholar-Athlete.

    Austin Montgomery was voted a First-Team MVC Scholar-Athlete.
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    June 7, 2012

    By Scott Gierman 

    CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Saluki baseball program was recognized for its success in the classroom this year as five SIU players garnered Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete honors Thursday.  That matched Creighton and Indiana State for the most honorees of any school in the conference.

    Junior Austin Montgomery is one of 12 members of the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team. His teammates Brian Bajer, Tyler Dray, Donny Duschinsky and Todd Eaton were all named Honorable Mentions. This is the third time since 2003 that the program has matched it's high with five MVC Scholar-Athletes. It's also the fifth time in 10 years that SIU has had four or more Scholar-Athletes.

    “Of all the postseason honors one can receive these are the most rewarding,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “Academics are the reason we are here, and these young men have done a remarkable job of not only excelling on the field but in the classroom as well.  They are true student-athletes and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments.”

    Montgomery was a First-Team All-MVC selection as a utility player and finished fifth in the conference with a .332 batting average. His 80 hits and 55 RBI were both third most in the MVC. He began the season as the Salukis right fielder before moving to third base at the end of March. Montgomery has also received CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District honors this season. He is majoring in mechanical engineering and finished the semester with a 3.61 cumulative GPA.



    Bajer, a senior catcher, appeared in 47 games and started 40 of them. He hit .284 with 14 doubles, three home runs and 18 RBI. Bajer caught fire at the end of the season and was named to the MVC All-Tournament Team. He hit .471 with five doubles in four games in the tournament. He graduated in May with a 3.63 GPA and a degree in special education.

    Dray tied for the team lead with 28 relief appearances as a sophomore in 2012. The lefty was used mostly in middle relief and in a set-up role after saving eight games as a freshman. Dray did record one save in 29 and two-thirds innings. He finished the spring semester with a 3.89 GPA and is majoring in business. 

    Duschinsky started all 59 games for SIU this season. He made 36 starts at shortstop and 23 starts at third base. He hit .264 with six home runs and 35 RBI. The sophomore led the team with 36 walks and finished seventh in the league with 47 runs scored. He has a 3.74 GPA and is majoring in accounting.

    Eaton recorded a 2.23 ERA as SIU’s closer this spring, and his nine saves tied for third most in The Valley. He struck out 39 batters in 36 and a third innings and held opponents to a .196 batting average. This spring he finished his sophomore season and is already fifth on the school’s all-time saves list. Eaton was one of the stars for the Salukis in their run to the MVC Tournament title game and was voted to the All-Tournament Team. In the tournament, he tossed eight scoreless innings, picking up two wins and a save. Eaton is majoring in management and has a 3.30 GPA.