The Illinois State baseball team battled back from an early deficit before Southern Illinois scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to earn a 10-9 walk-off win and a Missouri Valley Conference series sweep of the Redbirds on Sunday at Itchy Jones Stadium in Carbondale. ISU falls to 12-37 overall and 1-17 in conference play while SIU improves to 26-26, 9-9.
Southern Illinois built a 4-0 lead after four innings before Illinois State countered with two runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to go on top, 5-4.
The Salukis answered with one in the sixth and three more in the seventh to reclaim an 8-5 lead but Illinois State got two runs back in the eighth and two more in the ninth for a 9-8 advantage.
After tying the contest at 9-all, SIU's Greg Lambert doubled down the left field line off ISU reliever Jeff Lindgren (0-4) to score Ryan Smith with the game winner.
The Redbirds were led by Nick Zouras with three hits and three RBIs while Derek Parola and Joe Butler each drove in two runs.
Illinois State returns to Duffy Bass field on Thursday for the final home series of the season against MVC regular-season champion Missouri State.
Track at MVC Championships: Sydney Laufenberg (discus) and Amanda McClain (400 meters) each won Missouri Valley Conference titles on Sunday to help the Illinois State women's team score 137 points to earn second place at the 2017 MVC Outdoor Track and Field Championship at Wichita, Kan.
The ISU men's 400 meter relay team also won a Valley championship as the Redbird men finished fifth overall with 96 points.
Laufenberg recorded a personal-best throw of 169-7 to earn ISU's first MVC women's discus title since 2009. McCain defended her indoor 400 meter title with a time of 54.19 running into a strong headwind.
Dion Hooker, Deshaun Jordan, Andy Hatch and Derrius Rodgers teamed up to run a 40.45 to edge Wichita State by .10 seconds.
Rodgers was named the male MVC Freshman of the Year while ISU's D'Jenne Ehgarevba garnered Valley Freshman of the Year accolades on the female side.
Women's lacrosse eliminated: The Illinois Wesleyan women's lacrosse team fell into an early hole and would not recover in a 16-10 loss to Rhodes in an NCAA Division III second round matchup on Sunday at Memphis, Tenn.
Grainne Kelly and Sarah Dust had three goals each for the Titans, who finish the season with a 14-6 record. Kendall Cunninhgam had eight goals to lead the undefeated Lynx (19-0).