CARBONDALE — The SIU baseball team returns home for a big series, and the softball team jets off to Arizona in an even bigger one this week.
With the track team still almost two weeks away from its appearance at the NCAA West Prelims in College Station, Texas, the other two big spring team sports take center stage This Week in Saluki Athletics. The baseball team is back home to host Dallas Baptist in a series that could put it back in the at-large picture, and the softball team is off to the Tempe Regional in the NCAA softball tournament.
Here's a look at this week's schedule:
• Baseball (36-16, 13-11 Missouri Valley Conference) hosts Dallas Baptist (31-13, 16-4), Jones Stadium, 6 p.m. (ESPN+): The Salukis host the MVC regular-season champs in a four-game series beginning Thursday night at Jones Stadium. After taking 3 of 4 at Indiana State, SIU moved up to 74th in the latest RPI rankings, and could go even higher if it can hang with the Patriots, who are also in the top 100.
• Softball (37-14) vs. Arizona State (32-14), Tempe, Arizona, 7 p.m. (ESPN3): The Salukis take on the 15th-seeded Sun Devils in the first game of the four-team Tempe Regional. The double-elimination regional also features BYU and Virginia Tech. The regional begins on Thursday because BYU can't play on Sundays due to religious reasons.
• Baseball hosts Dallas Baptist, 2/5 p.m. doubleheader, Jones Stadium (both games on ESPN3): SIU and DBU continue their four-game series with a Friday doubleheader at the host site of the upcoming MVC Tournament. Could this be a precursor to the championshp game?
• Softball at Tempe Regional, Tempe, Arizona, 1 or 3:30 p.m.: The Salukis will play at 1 p.m. if they beat Arizona State or 3:30 if they lose, against the loser of Thursday's game between BYU and Virginia Tech in an elimination game.
• Baseball hosts Dallas Baptist, Jones Stadium, 2 p.m. (ESPN3): SIU and DBU close out their four-game series in both teams' regular-season finales. SIU is 22-6 at home entering the series. DBU is 3-1 on the road.
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