TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Indiana State's Luke Fegen hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to break a tie game and lift the Sycamores to a 7-4 win over Southern Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Bob Warn Field. Indiana State swept the three-game series and sent the Salukis to their 10th-straight loss.
SIU's offense, which had been held to six hits combined in the first two games of the series, came to life early in the game, scoring one in the first inning and three in the third. Will LaRue led the charge, going 4-for-4 on the day, including an RBI double.
"We were much more competitive at the plate today," SIU head coach Ken Henderson said. "We battled. We had better approaches offensively and gave ourselves a chance. The first four or five guys in the lineup really did a good job for us. Archer had no hits, but he had a couple really good ABs. That's something to build off. We're going to have to work hard and continue to figure it out, but that's one of the best offensive days we have had in a while."
The Southern Illinois (17-22, 1-11 MVC) three-run third gave the Salukis a 4-2 lead, but Indiana State (32-9, 9-3 MVC) got a run back in the bottom of the third and tied the game with an unearned run in the fifth. In the sixth, SIU turned to bullpen ace Justin Yeager, who entered with a sub-3.00 ERA; but after a pair of walks, Fegen hit the game-deciding three-run homer. Fegen's homer was his first of the season, and it came against Yeager, who had not allowed a home run in 46 innings in his entire SIU career.
"The difference in the game was the free passes," Henderson said. "They walked one and we walked six. That was the difference."
Matt DeSomer had yet another outstanding outing for SIU, pitching two scoreless innings while allowing only one hit. DeSomer hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 13.1 innings, spanning eight appearances. The lone hit DeSomer allowed snapped a streak of 8.2 innings pitched without allowing a hit.
Southern's running game also had a good game and series. SIU was 4-for-4 stealing on the game and 9-for-10 in the series. Today, Alex Lyon stole second base and advanced to third on a fly ball to center, putting himself in position to score on a passed ball.
"We competed hard and did a good job grinding out ABs. We didn't give in and made some things happen on offense. At the end of the day, we just didn't find a way to get it done against a really good ballclub on the road. Like I told our guys, we can build off that. We will continue to get better."
The Salukis return to Itchy Jones Stadium for a five-game home stand, starting with Tuesday and Wednesday games against Illinois and Murray State, respectively.