SIU pitching nearly perfect in 5-0 win at SEMO

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Brad Harrison threw eight dominant innings and led the Southern Illinois baseball program to a 5-0 win over Southeast Missouri on Tuesday night. After SEMO hit a leadoff single in the first inning, Harrison (8.0 IP) and Trey McDaniel (1.0 IP) essentially threw a perfect game the rest of the way–SEMO went 0-for-28, with its only other base runner coming on a dropped third strike.

SEMO only hit one ball out of the infield all game, a third-inning fly out to left field.

“That’s about as dominating as I’ve ever seen, and it was against a club that can swing it,” SIU head coach Ken Henderson said. “It’s a great pitching performance at a time when we really needed it.”

Harrison (3-0) threw a 2-hit shutout at Belmont last week and has an active streak of 18 consecutive scoreless innings. He retired the final 17 Belmont hitters last week—from that point through the end of tonight’s game, Harrison struck out 23, walked none, and limited opposing batters to 1-for-43 (.023).

“That’s a pretty amazing baseball game,” Henderson said. “I don’t know if I’ve seen two performances back-to-back that were that dominating against good clubs.”

Southern had the lead before Harrison threw his first pitch. Addison FugittConnor KopachLogan Blackfan, and Hunter Anderson strung together four-straight hits, followed by a Jared Kengott sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead. SIU played without Alex Lyon and Kenton Crawford, who regularly hit in the heart of the lineup, and still pounded out 11 hits after hitting .367 over the weekend.

“We were without our 3-hole and 5-hole hitters, and we still did a phenomenal job offensively all game long,” Henderson said. “We didn’t score several innings, but we had good ABs and got guys on. I’m really proud of our offense. We got on a roll last weekend offensively and certainly carried that into today.”

The Salukis played error-free and expanded the lead with a run in the second and another in the eighth. SIU (4-8) had base runners in seven of the nine innings. Blackfan went 3-for-4 and stole his first career base. SEMO fell to 3-10.

“That was a complete game,” Henderson said. “Our hitters were as good as we’ve been. We did a great job hitting balls where they were pitched. We barreled a ton of balls up in tough hitting conditions. I’m extremely proud of our entire ball club. That’s the club I keep saying we’re going to be, and tonight, we were that club.”

SIU travels to Murray State on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. (SCHEDULE NOTE: Wednesday’s game at Murray State was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. but was moved up one hour due to weather concerns.)

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