March 30, 2013

Cougars Earn Split to End Golden Eagles Streak

COOKEVILLE, Ill. – SIUE ended Tennessee Tech's NCAA Division I-long winning streak of 14 games with a 6-4 win in the final game of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series Saturday.

"It was nice to see us battle and get out of there with a win," SIUE Interim Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said.

The Golden Eagles won the opener of Saturday's doubleheader 11-3 and won two of three in the series. SIUE is now 7-15 overall and 5-7 in the OVC. Tennessee Tech is 21-7 and an OVC-best 10-2 in league play. The winning streak had been tied for the longest in school history for the Golden Eagles.

Devin Caldwell homered and had two RBIs for the Cougars in the win. Travis Becherer had two hits and two RBIs as well. Denton Reed and Joel Greatting each had a hit and RBI for SIUE.

"Denton Reed had a great day today at the plate," Stoecklin added. "Devin really squared one up. It was probably the hardest hit ball I have seen all year. He's had a few big at-bats for us this year."

Game two was tied 4-4 in the sixth when Becherer and Greatting each picked up RBIs to put the Cougars ahead for good.

SIUE took a first inning lead in Saturday's finale. Reed walked to open the game, before Becherer doubled down the right field line to make it 1-0. It was 1-1 in the third when Greatting singled with two outs. Devin Caldwell then connected on his team-leading fourth home run of the year to make it 3-1 Cougars. Caldwell now has a team-best 11 RBIs. The Cougars went up 4-1 in the fourth inning thanks to an RBI-single by Reed.

Tony Schaeffer (1-1) picked up the win with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed three hits and struck out three. Schaeffer entered in the fifth inning with two on and one out. P.J. Schuster started and allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three.

"Tony did a good job bailing P.J. out in the fifth inning," Stoecklin said. "He did a good job in the sixth and seventh innings with Tech's hitters."

Tennessee Tech reliever Seth Lucio took the loss for the Golden Eagles. Lucio allowed two runs on three hits in three innings.

Daniel Miles had three RBIs for TTU and Brandon Thomasson was 2 for 4.

The Golden Eagles scored five runs in the seventh and then three in the eighth to score the comeback win in Saturday's first game.

"We could have gotten out of there with two wins today," Stoecklin said. "We just didn't pitch well enough to win that first game."

Brooks McDowell (0-2) suffered the loss in the opener for SIUE. McDowell allowed five runs on seven hits. He struck out one. Caleb Wilkerson started for the Cougars. He allowed three runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. J.D. Williams allowed the three runs in the eighth inning.

Zach Zarzour and Thomasson each had three hits in the finale for Tennessee Tech. Thomasson, Miles and Zach Stephens each had two RBIs apiece for the Golden Eagles in the win.

Reed and Greatting each had RBIs in the game for SIUE. Reed was 2 for 4 with the RBI. Skyler Geissinger was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Matt Seevers had the third RBI for SIUE. Geissinger singled, and Seevers drew a bases loaded walk in the first inning of the opener to put the Cougars on top 2-0. Reed put SIUE on top 3-2 with an RBI-double in the fourth inning.  

SIUE returns home for four games next week. The Cougars play host to the Saint Louis Billikens Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.

"Being at home will be nice," Stoecklin added. "Hopefully we'll get out legs under us and start winning some more games."