April 13, 2012
Felax, Offense Leads Cougars Over Golden Eagles
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Travis Felax fired the first complete game of his college career, and SIUE hit three home runs as the Cougars defeated Tennessee Tech 10-3 Friday in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series.
Felax (5-3) allowed three runs, only two earned, on eight hits. He struck out seven and walked only one.
"That's just a great job by Travis," SIUE Head Coach Gary Collins said. "You don't get too many complete games in this league."
Felax appeared to get stronger as the game went on. All seven of the sophomore's strikeouts came in the fifth inning and later. He struck out the side in order in the eighth inning.
"His breaking ball got a little better as it got later," Collins explained. "He finished it up; he got it done."
SIUE scored twice in the first inning, built a 5-0 lead after three innings, and led 8-1 after four innings. The Cougars improved to 16-18 overall and 4-6 in the OVC.
"That was huge," Collins said of the early lead. "To build a lead like that over four innings made it easier to win."
Travis Becherer, Devin Caldwell, and Matt Highland all hit home runs in the game. Becherer hit his second home run, a two-run shot, in the first inning and added an RBI-double in the ninth. He finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs and three runs. Caldwell 2 for 5 with an RBI-single in the third and a three-run home run, his team-leading fourth, in the fourth. Highland finished 3 for 4 with an RBI-single in the third inning and a solo homer, his first, in the sixth.
"I thought Becherer and Highland both had outstanding nights at the plate," Collins said. "And Devin gave us that big three-run blow in the fourth."
Golden Eagles starter Tristan Archer (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing five runs over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two. TTU third baseman Michael Morris led the way offensively. He was 3 for 4 with a run scored. The Golden Eagles dropped to 14-19 and 5-5 in conference play.
The two teams continue the series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday.