The SIU baseball team (27-28, 10-10) has one more chance to redeem its season on Wednesday.
The Salukis start out on a post-season quest to win an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, but the bad news is they are playing on the home field of Missouri State Bears (37-15, 18-1).
Also on the negative side is the fact that SIU is in the same bracket as the Bears in the double-elimination tournament. That means if Southern wins its first game Wednesday, its likely the Salukis will face Missouri State in the second game on Thursday.
Throwing out a little hope — Illinois State defeated Missouri State in its final regular season game to break up a perfect conference record. However, SIU was swept by MSU in Carbondale this spring.
If the Dawgs lose to the Shockers, they would play the loser of the Illinois State/MSU game on Thursday. In this scenario, a Thursday loss would knock SIU out of the tournament. A win would advance them to Friday where they would play the loser of the two unbeaten teams playing Thursday.
Another win for SIU would mean a game Friday night against an unbeaten team. If SIU can manage to win that game, it would set up a Saturday afternoon elimination game.
The winner of that game would go on to the conference title game against the survivor of the opposing bracket, featuring Dallas Baptist, Bradley, Indiana State and Evansville.
The tournament champion gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
SIU lost its only regular season series with the Shockers. One of those games included a 17-7 run-rule victory for Withita State.