May 07, 2023123456789RHE
Southern Illinois02000413010160
Win: Jake Combs (2-2) 7.082214
Loss: Nowak (4-3) 5.164332
Mathieu Vallee (SIU) 514300
Ryan (VALPO) 504100
Thurston (VALPO) 514200
SIU Captures Series Finale
Sunday, May 7, 2023
SIU Captures Series Finale
Alex Ryan had four hits on Sunday.

The Valparaiso University baseball team banged out a dozen hits, but Southern Illinois compiled 16 as the Salukis prevailed 10-6 in Sunday’s rubber match at Emory G. Bauer Field. Valpo received big days from Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) and Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran), who notched four hits apiece.   

How It Happened

  • Valpo struck first as Ryan Maka (Oak Forest, Ill. / Oak Forest) hit a fly ball to center that was lost in the sun in the bottom of the first, allowing Kyle Schmack (Wanatah, Ind. / South Central) to score on a double for Maka.
  • SIU jumped ahead on a two-run triple in the second, but then neither team scored again until the sixth.
  • The Salukis added four runs in the sixth and one in the seventh before Valpo got one back on a single by Ryan in the bottom of the seventh to make it 7-2.
  • SIU put up a three spot in the top of the eighth, but the Beacons responded with three of their own in the bottom of the inning. Jake Skrine (Longmont, Colo. / Mead [Indiana]) lifted a sacrifice fly, Thurston had a ground-rule double to drive in a run and Brady Nowicki (Big Bend, Wis. / Mukwonago [Indiana Hills]) picked up an RBI on a ground ball.
  • In the top of the ninth inning, Trent Turzenski (Burlington, Wis. / Burlington) made his season debut and saw his first action since April 1, 2022 after undergoing “Tommy John” surgery. He worked a scoreless frame and faced the minimum in a special moment as he returned to the mound.
  • Thurston singled in a run in the bottom of the ninth to make it 10-6, and Valpo needed one more batter to reach to get the tying run to the plate before the Salukis worked out of it.

Inside the Game

  • Valpo starter Bobby Nowak (Cedar Lake, Ind. / Hanover Central [Kankakee]) allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings to take the defeat.
  • It was a good day to be named Alex, as both Thurston and Ryan had career highs in the hit column.  
  • Maka continued to rake, picking up three more hits to go along with a walk. He has had multiple hits in eight of his last 11 games. The trio of Ryan, Maka and Thurston accounted for 11 of the team’s 12 hits.

Up Next

Valpo (17-21, 8-13) will host Western Michigan for the final nonconference game of the season on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field. The game will air on ESPN+.