May 7, 2013

Cougars Outlast Sycamores in 12 Innings

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – James Vazquez lined a two out-single to left center in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift SIUE baseball to a 9-8 win over Indiana State in nonconference baseball Tuesday night at Simmons Complex.

The win is the fifth in a row for SIUE (14-29) and the second consecutive extra inning victory.

"They're playing together as a team," SIUE Interim Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "It's a lot of fun. It's fun to watch them go out there compete, and play hard."

Vazquez's hit scored Zach Little with the winning run. Little had led off the 12th with a single to right field. It was the first time in the game SIUE had the lead.

Indiana State (18-21) had leads of 1-0, 4-1, 6-4, and 8-6. Each time Indiana State scored, SIUE answered the next half inning. The two teams combined for 23 hits and eight errors, including three in extra innings.

"We played well enough to win and that's all that matters," Stoecklin said. "We're playing hard as a team."

The Sycamore took a 6-4 lead in the top of the ninth inning against Cougar reliever Brooks McDowell. Indiana State took advantage of a Cougar error and singles by pinch-hitter Derek Hannahs and designated hitter Casey McCurdy.

SIUE took advantage in the bottom of the inning when Nick Lombardo reached on an error to start the inning. Jacob Stewart was hit by a pitch before Vazquez grounded into a fielder's choice. Joel Greatting then smashed a double to the right field warning track allowing Lombardo and Vazquez to score to tie the score 6-6 and force extra innings.

The Sycamore went ahead 8-6 in the 11th thanks to a walk, a hit and an error, but the Cougars answered again.

Travis Becherer led off the inning with a fly ball to left which was misplayed, allowing Becherer to get to second base. Vazquez drove a triple to the wall in left center to cut the lead to 8-7, and then Greatting tied the score with a single to centerfield.

Greatting finished the game 4 for 6 with four RBIs. Vazquez was 2 for 6 with the pair of RBIs. Little was 2 for 5 with two runs scored.

"Joel had a great game and James just came up huge," Stoecklin said. "It's been a great five games."

P.J. Schuster (2-3) earned the win. In three innings of relief he allowed two runs, one earned, on two this. He struck out two. McDowell allowed two runs, one earned on four hits over six innings of relief. Drew Staples started for the Cougars and pitched three innings. He allowed four runs.

A.J. McElderry (0-2) suffered the loss for Indiana State. He allowed a run on two hits in 2/3 of an inning.

Landon Curry, McCurdy, Robby Ort, and Mike Fitzgerald all had two hits for the Sycamores. Curry drove in three and scored two.

SIUE travels to Evansville Wednesday night. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.