Missouri State’s first games after the 12-day layoff did not go well for the team. The Bears dropped all four games to Southern Illinois on the road in Carbondale.
Losing all four moves MSU’s record to 15-15 (5-7 MVC). The Bears entered the series third in the Missouri Valley standings and exited sixth.
MSU will play next on May 5 on the road against Kansas and with a four-game home series with Indiana State on May 7-9.
Graduate senior pitcher Logan Wiley put together a quality start for the Bears. He went six innings and allowed only two runs on a pair of two-out RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth inning.
This allowed SIU to carry a 2-0 lead after the first five innings. MSU cut into the lead with a leadoff solo home run by sophomore catcher Drake Baldwin.
The Salukis extended the lead to 3-1 with a RBI triple off junior reliever Trey Ziegenbein in the seventh inning.
MSU attempted to rally in the ninth and added a run but left the potential tying-run stranded at second base to end the game.
SIU took game one of the series 3-2. Wiley picked up the loss on the mound and his record moved to 4-2.
Saturday Game One
Junior pitcher Matt Russell retired the first 12 Salukis that came to the plate in the seven-inning game. Russell attacked the zone early and was efficient on the mound.
Russell’s work on the mound allowed MSU to take an early lead with a RBI double by junior right fielder Dakota Kotowski in the second inning.
SIU was able to tie the game in the fourth inning with a run, but the Bears quickly gained the lead back with three runs in the top of the fifth inning.
Junior outfielder Jaden Rolffs extended the lead to 5-1 with a solo home run in the sixth inning, his ninth home run of the season.
SIU was down to its final six outs but was able to get five runs across in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 6-5 lead. The Salukis took the lead on a three-run home run by freshman outfielder Evan Martin.
The Bears were unable to plate a run in the seventh inning and dropped game one of the doubleheader 6-5.
Junior closer Hayden Juenger picked up the loss on the mound for MSU.
Saturday Game Two
The come-from-behind win allowed SIU to take momentum into the second game with a run in the first inning on a pair of doubles for an early 1-0 lead.
Sophomore pitcher Hayden Minton was able to pitch 5.1 innings with only two runs allowed. He was able to keep the game close by working around base runners in scoring position frequently.
The MSU offense was silent in this game and ran into a dominant performance by SIU’s senior pitcher Brad Harrison. Harrison tossed a complete-game shutout and struck out 10 MSU hitters.
There were hopes for a late comeback of its own for MSU, but a two-run home run in the eighth inning extended the SIU lead to 4-0 and helped solidify the game.
SIU took game two of the doubleheader by a final of 4-0.
Minton picked up the loss on the mound and is still winless on the year with a 0-3 record.
Junior pitcher Jared Viertel struggled to find the strike zone early and allowed two runs to cross in the second inning and allowed SIU to jump out to another early lead.
The two runs were all SIU got off Viertel on the day as he settled in for his best start of the season. He went a season-high seven innings and retired the final 14 batters he faced.
MSU’s offense was silent again though and trailed the Salukis 2-0 heading into the eighth inning.
The Bears were gifted a two-out error in the top of the eighth but were unable to plate a run, stranding two runners on base.
SIU took advantage and extended its lead to 5-0 with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
MSU was unable to put together a rally in the ninth inning and dropped the final game of the series 5-0.
Viertel picked up the tough-luck loss and dropped his record on the mound to 0-4.
The Bears drop back to the .500 mark with a 15-15 record and are now 5-7 in Missouri Valley conference play.
MSU will be back in action on May 5 for a game with Kansas in Lawrence. The first game was cancelled between the two schools back on March 17.
Follow Trevor Hahn on Twitter, @TrevHahn3
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