Cougars Comeback Falls Short on Senior Day
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE scored a run in the ninth, but left a pair of runners on falling to Jacksonville State 4-3 in the finale of a three-game series at Simmons Baseball Complex. The Gamecocks avoided the sweep.
"We had things set up for a big thrill, but we didn't get the big thrill," SIUE Head Coach Gary Collins said.
With the loss, SIUE (26-26, 12-12 OVC) finished its home season with a 16-12 record. It is the second consecutive season SIUE has finished with a winning record at home. The loss came on Senior Day for the Cougars. Six seniors, Brian Lorenz, Brett Keeler, Thad Hawkins, Zach Hawkins, Dustin Quattrocchi, nd Mitch Matecki each played their final home game for SIUE.
The Cougars trailed 4-2 going into the ninth inning. Jacksonville State closer Todd Hornsby retired the first two hitters he faced before walking James Vazquez. Hornsby had two strikes on Keeler, before the senior lined a single into right field making it first and third with two outs. Travis Becherer then lined a double inside of first to drive home Vazquez and send pinch-running Nick Lombardo to third. Matecki followed, and hit a bounding ball to short. JSU shortstop Andrew Bishop's throw narrowly got Matecki at first to end the game.
"We had Mitch at the plate with the winning run at second and the tying run at third," Collins added. "I was hoping it would be a great ending to Mitch's career here but sometimes it does not happen that way."
The Gamecocks (23-27, 15-9 OVC) took a lead in the third with a run thanks to three walks in the inning by SIUE starter Josh Hoguet. SIUE tied the game with a run in the fourth on an RBI-single from Zach Hawkins which drove home Joel Greatting. Jacksonville State scored twice more in the fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead and chase Hoguet.
Hoguet suffered the loss allowing three runs over 4 2/3 inning of work. He dropped to 2-6.
Jacksonville State took a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning on a triple and double to start the inning against reliever Thad Hawkins. Thad Hawkins worked 4 1/3 innings in relief, allowing the run on three hits. Zach Hawkins singled in the sixth inning to score Greatting again to make it 4-2.
Zach Hawkins finished the game 2 for 4 with the pair of RBIs. Greatting was 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs.
Hunter Rivers pitched into the sixth to earn the win for Jacksonville State. Rivers improves to 4-3. Adam Miller and Scott Underwood each had two hits for the Gamecocks.
SIUE finishes its season with a three-game series at Southeast Missouri beginning Thursday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.