MARION — With 29 wins entering Tuesday's game at Rent One Park against SIU, Saint Louis didn't need any help to be competitive.
The Salukis' pitching staff opened the door a bit wider for some big Billiken innings in a 6-4 loss. SIU starter Henry Boeckmann walked Saint Louis' No. 9 hitter, Ryan Hernandez, and leadoff hitter Aaron Case to start the third. Reliever Justin Yeager struck out Parker Sniatynski looking for the first out of the inning, but allowed Nick Reeser to load the bases with a single to left.
Things got better before they got worse. James Morisano popped out to second base for the second out of the inning, but Trent Leimkuehler cleared the bases with a double into the right-field corner. Saint Louis (30-19) went up 5-2 in the sixth off Sniatynski's two-run home run.
"What hurt us was we walked the 9-hole hitter and the leadoff to start off the inning. You're not gonna get out of that unscathed, when you turn the lineup over like that," SIU coach Ken Henderson said. "That's the three-run inning, and then you walk the 9 hole in front of the two-run homer. To me, those are the negatives, but we threw a lot of good pitches. Bradley Harrison was really good. I thought we swung it OK. We didn't get the big hit, but that happens."
Harrison, a freshman from O'Fallon, allowed four hits and one run in three innings. He struck out four and walked one after coming into the game in the sixth.
SIU (26-27) walked eight men on defense and stranded nine baserunners. Saint Louis stranded 11 men but won for the fourth time in its last five games.
Aaron Patton (5-2), who started for Saint Louis, got the win after allowing two runs and three hits in three innings. Boeckmann (0-3) took the loss.
Saint Louis earned a Southern Illinois University sweep with the victory. The Billikens beat SIU-Edwardsville twice and took out the Salukis for only the 18th time in the 75 games between the two.
Salukis add juco outfielder for 2018: SIU announced the addition of Mineral Area College outfielder Kenton Crawford for the 2018 season on Tuesday.
Crawford, who will be a junior next year, hit .376 with 13 doubles, eight home runs and 48 RBIs. The all-region pick was 25 for 27 stealing bases, which ranked 32nd in the country among junior colleges.
"Kenton is a great fit with us and our needs for next year," Henderson said in a news release. "He is a physically gifted athlete that possesses the offensive tools to hit in the middle of the order while also having the speed to steal bases and run down balls in the outfield. He will be an exciting player, and we are thrilled that he has decided to join the Saluki family."