EVANSVILLE, IN. (SIU ATHLETICS) -- The SIU baseball team split a doubleheader at Evansville on Friday afternoon and evening at German American Bank Field. SIU exploded for a 10-run ninth inning in the first game for a 16-7 win. Evansville jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the second game and held on for an 8-6 win.
In a rare non-conference series between MVC opponents, the first game was a back-and-forth game that saw both teams trading blows in the late innings. SIU (32-13) overcame a 4-2 deficit to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh inning, and Evansville (22-22) tied the game in the bottom of the inning. SIU took a 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth, and again Evansville tied the game in the bottom of the inning.
That's where SIU's relentless offense threw the knockout punch. Evan Martin hit the go-ahead RBI single to give SIU a 7-6 lead, and then the Salukis scored nine more runs — all with two outs — and turned a 6-6 tie game in the ninth inning into a 16-6 blowout. By the end of it, Evansville, who started the inning with its closer on the mound, ended the inning with a position player pitching.
Evansville bounced right back and jumped on SIU early in the second game. The Aces led 3-0 after three innings and then added a four-run fourth and another run in the fifth to take an 8-1 lead, and that score held into the sixth inning of the seven-inning second game.
Down by seven runs with five outs to go and nobody on base, SIU started an improbable rally that ultimately fell short. A couple walks were followed by an error that extended the inning and scored one run. Philip Archer made the error hurt by following with a two-run double. After the bases were loaded, Tony Rask took an RBI HBP, which brought SIU within 8-5 and brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate.
Evansville stopped SIU's sixth-inning rally there, but SIU started another rally in the seventh. Tristan Peters hit his second homer of the game to get SIU within 8-6. Nick Neville followed with a single, and Philip Archer drew a two-out walk to put the potential tying run on base and the would-be go-ahead run at the plate, but that's where the rally died.
The Game Two loss ended SIU's six-game winning streak. The teams are scheduled to play again at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. With forecasted weather in the area, follow @SIU_Baseball on Twitter for schedule updates.