‘Opportunistic’ Cougars Sweep Red Wolves
JONESBORO, Ark. – SIUE baseball managed five runs on just two hits to defeat Arkansas State 5-2 Wednesday, completing the sweep of the two-game road series. SIUE took advantage of nine Arkansas State walks and two errors.
The Cougars (7-5) have now won three straight and five of their last six games.
"I can't think of a better way to start our trip," SIUE Head Coach Gary Collins said. "We were opportunistic today."
The Cougars took the lead with two runs without a hit in the top of the fourth inning. Zach Hawkins walked to lead off the inning before Joel Greatting was hit by a pitch. Matt Highland followed with a walk to load the bases. Brian Sipe grounded into a fielder's choice which forced Zach Hawkins out at the plate. ASU catcher Stuart Levy then fired a throw to first looking to turn the double play, but his throw was wide, allowing Greatting to score the first run of the day. Chase Green then grounded out to drive in Highland from third base.
The Red Wolves (7-5) evened the score in the bottom of the inning. Logan Uxa doubled to start the inning against SIUE reliever Dylan Brown. Uxa went to third on a sacrifice bunt, and then scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-1 Cougars. After the next two batters walked, Brooks McDowell relieved Brown and ended the inning with a pair of flyouts.
The Red Wolves pulled within one with a run on two hits in the sixth inning against McDowell. McDowell (1-0) earned the win allowing the run on two hits over 2 2/3 innings.
Greatting capped the day for the Cougars with a two-run home run in the eighth for the final margin. Greatting's homer, which followed a walk by Zach Hawkins, came to left through a strong wind.
"It astounded me really," Collins said. "He hit that ball into left into a hurricane."
Caldwell and Greatting had the only two hits for SIUE in the game. Greatting was 1 for 2 with the two RBIs. Caldwell was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Tony Schaeffer tossed three scoreless innings allowing just one hit to earn the first save of his career.
SIUE continues the road trip with a three-game series at Missouri State beginning Friday in Springfield, Mo. First pitch Friday is set for 3 p.m.
"We're a pretty confident team," Collins said. "We're just going to go play. Missouri State is a good team. They're going to be tough to beat."