DALLAS -- No. 25-ranked Dallas Baptist completed its three-game sweep of Southern Illinois with a 3-1 win on Sunday afternoon at Horner Ballpark.
SIU was in all three games with the nationally ranked Patriots, holding late leads in the first two games. In the series finale, SIU (18-17, 4-5 MVC) brought the tying or go-ahead run to the plate in three of the final four innings, but DBU (23-10, 5-1 MVC) held on to secure the sweep.
"We played really well all weekend," said SIU coach Ken Henderson. "Our effort was good; our intensity was good. We did so many good things. I don't know if I've ever been a part of a weekend when we played so well and had nothing to show for it. I don't have any complaints; we just couldn't find a way to win games. Our bullpen, which hadn't been very good the first two days, was good today. It's disappointing to leave here 0-3 for as well as we played."
DBU starter Trevor Conn held the Salukis in check for seven innings, allowing just four hits and one run. Connor Kopach drove home Southern's only run with a two-out RBI triple in the sixth inning. DBU right fielder Luke Bandy robbed SIU of several more extra-base hits with driving catches and running grabs in the gaps.
"It was a good ball game. We couldn't find a way to scratch out some runs," Henderson said. "I thought we were much better offensively than the numbers indicate. The MVP of the game should be their right fielder. He saved four or five hits."
SIU starter Brad Harrison didn't have his typical putaway stuff—his two strikeouts were a season low—but he battled through six innings and still held the high-powered DBU offense to only two runs.
"He was great," Henderson said. "He's a young guy learning how to pitch. He has to learn how to have good days when he doesn't have his good stuff, and certainly today, he did that. He only gave up two runs to a great hitting team playing in a great hitting facility. Hopefully, he can continue to build off that."
Kopach, who was in a mini 2-for-18 slump, broke out by going 4-for-8 with five RBIs in the final two games of the DBU series. His RBI triple Sunday drove home Southern's only run, and a sensational grab by Bandy in the first inning robbed him of another sure triple.
"He was locked in the last two days," Henderson said. "Even when he didn't get hits, he looked really good at the plate. He got right back on track, and Blackfan was really good, too."
Logan Blackfan went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest hitting streak for an SIU player since Chris Serritella had a 24-game streak in 2012.
SIU returns home for a pair of mid-week games at Itchy Jones Stadium this week. The Salukis host Belmont on Tuesday and Murray State on Wednesday. Both games are set to start at 5 p.m.