By: Joe Frye
Like coffee and samples at your local grocery store, the best things in life are free. Mother nature provided free wind on Saturday to help SIU lift three homers en route to a 13-3 win over Jacksonville State. This win comes after a loss on Friday, so the rubber match will decide the winner of this non-conference three game series. The Salukis were led on the mound by junior Chad Whitmer who had a quality start, going six innings and only allowing two runs on nine hits. Junior Jacob Williams cam on in relief and and southpaw freshman Seth Hackett came in and got the final six outs. In the batters box eight of the nine Saluki starters notched at least one hit.
WIDB member and junior Will Farmer batted in the nine spot but arguably was most effective, reaching base in all four at-bats. His fellow partner in the middle infield, sophomore Connor Kopach, but the dagger in the Gamecock coffin in sixth inning with a three run homer. Kopeck drove in five Dawgs while freshman Jared Schmidt drove in two runs with a third inning homer to give the Salukis their initial lead, and they never looked back. Sophomore Drew Curtis picked up his first Southern Illinois hit yesterday, and picked up his first RBI, today he notched his first SIU home run, a solo shot in the fifth. Southern batted around the lineup in seventh inning and scored six runs.
For Jacksonville State, senior Elliot McCummings continued his hot streak with an RBI single, and senior Tyler Gamble drove in another un in the third, with an RBI double. Starting pitcher Jack Pierce, a sophomore, went five innings and only allowing four runs, but when he handed the torch to junior Joe McGuire, the Gamecocks winning chances were out of reach. The Salukis roughed up McGuire for seven runs, five earned in under two innings.
The Gamecocks and Salukis will play their final game of the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. Tune into WIDB.net for the broadcast. SIU will send out sophomore Michael Baird, a young player who SIU has been able to rely on as of late. Jacksonville State has yet to announce who they will have pitch.