March 23, 202412345678RHE
Southern Illinois0112400513140
Win: Al Holguin (2-2) 5.040005
Loss: Guazzo (0-3) 4.297603
Ryan (VALPO) 312101
Thurston (VALPO) 302000
Steven Loden (SIU) 512301
Hesston Gray (SIU) 422000
Bennett Eltoft (SIU) 322311
Mathieu Vallee (SIU) 312210
Nathan Bandy (SIU) 412200
Alex Ryan Homers in Saturday Setback to Salukis
Saturday, March 23, 2024
Alex Ryan Homers in Saturday Setback to Salukis

Host Southern Illinois hit four home runs to right field on a day where the wind was blowing out to right and the ball was carrying in that direction at Itchy Jones Stadium in Carbondale, Ill. on their way to beating the Valparaiso University baseball team 13-1 in eight innings. Alex Ryan (Lake Mills, Wis. / Lakeside Lutheran) ripped a home run to left to account for the Beacon tally.

How It Happened

  • Valpo mounted a threat in the second inning with the bases loaded and one away, but the Beacons left the maximum and came away empty handed.
  • Southern Illinois got an unearned run after a pop fly was dropped on the infield leading to a tally in the second. It could have been worse as Valpo starting pitcher Adam Guazzo (Huntley, Ill. / Hunley) worked out of the inning without further damage despite facing a second-and-third, one-out spot with SIU already up 1-0.
  • Jordan Bach hit a solo shot in the Saluki second to make it 2-0 in favor of the hosts, then Bennett Eltoft doubled the lead with a two-run homer in the fourth.
  • Senior Alex Thurston (Fowler, Ind. / Benton Central) stayed hot with a leadoff double in the top of the fifth, but he was stranded at third. The Salukis hit their third home run of the day in the bottom of the fifth, a solo shot to right to make it 5-0.
  • The fifth inning turned out to be a turning point as SIU totaled four runs, batting around on its way to expanding the lead to 8-0.
  • Valpo got on the board in the seventh as Ryan drilled a solo blast over the left-field fence.
  • Valpo reliever Joe Seiber (Homer Glen, Ill. / Lockport [College of DuPage]) retired the final seven batters he faced, sending down the Salukis in order in both the sixth and seventh innings.
  • SIU got five in the eighth including a game-ending three-run homer by Steven Loden that invoked the 10-run rule.

Inside the Game

  • Ryan’s home run was his third of the season and the sixth of his Valpo career. Both of his prior blasts this year came exactly a week ago, a two-homer game on March 16 at No. 23 Campbell.
  • Four of Valpo’s five hits came from the first name Alex as Ryan and Thurston notched two apiece.
  • Seiber’s final line of 2 1/3 innings while allowing one run on one walk and two hits was the highlight for the Valpo pitching staff.
  • Hannahs extended his on-base streak to 21 games.
  • Injuries continued to hurt the Beacons as Carson Husmann was sidelined for Saturday’s game. Returning First Team All-MVC selection Ryan Maka remained out, and would-be weekend starter Josh Cottrill is also among the Beacons on the shelf.

Up Next

Valpo (8-13, 0-2 MVC) and SIU will close out the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Carbondale. The game will air on ESPN+ with links to live coverage available on