NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE baseball opened its 2013 season with a four-run first inning. Lipscomb answered with a run in its half of the first, three in the second and three more in the fifth on its way to a 7-4 victory over the Cougars.
"We came out and competed well and played hard today," Interim Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said following his first game as the head coach. "We would have liked to have seen a better result."
Travis Becherer homered to start the game. James Vazquez and Matt Highland each followed with singles. Joel Greatting was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chase Green singled with one out to drive home Vazquez to make it 2-0 SIUE. Nick Lombardo followed with an RBI-single to make it 3-0 Cougars. Then with two outs and the bases loaded Brian Sipe drew a walk to put SIUE on top 4-0.
"We started off great," Stoecklin said. "I think we could have even had a bigger inning, and maybe even knocked out their starter."
Lipscomb starter Josh Cotham (1-0) settled in to toss 4.1 innings. He allowed just a single hit after the first inning.
The Bisons (1-0) got on the board in the bottom of the first when Zach Lowery homered off SIUE starter Travis Felax. Lipscomb scored three times on four hits and an error in the second to tie the score, 4-4.
Felax lasted four innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on six hits. He struck out one.
"Travis competed hard," Stoecklin said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but he kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win."
Freshman P.J. Schuster followed Felax to start the fifth inning. The Bisons scored three times on four hits in the inning to go up 7-4. Schuster did not allow a hit after the fifth. He struck out three and walked one.
"He settled down and did a nice job," Stoecklin said. "His second two innings were outstanding."
Highland led the Cougars at the plate. He finished 3-4 with a run scored. No other player had more than a hit.
"Matty took great at-bats," Stoecklin said. "He squared the ball up and did a nice job."
SIUE and Lipscomb play the middle game of the three-game series Saturday in Nashville. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.