Cougars Drop Sunday Finale; Announce Schedule Changes
STATESBORO, Ga. – SIUE baseball outhit Georgia Southern 12-10 Sunday, but left 14 men on base in an 8-2 loss to the Eagles to wrap up a nonconference weekend at Clements Stadium.
The Cougars are now 2-8 for the season. Georgia Southern improved to 9-2.
"We didn't do a good job of hitting with runners in scoring position today," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said.
SIUE took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Austin Verschoore accounted for both of the Cougars' runs. Skyler Geissinger singled and Jake Michalak doubled to start the inning. Verschoore picked up a two-out single to left center to drive home both runners and give the Cougars their only lead of the game.
"Austin came up with a big hit," Stoecklin said. "He took a nice at-bat. He stayed within his approach and took it right up the middle."
Caleb Wilkerson (0-1) started and took the loss. Wilkerson tossed three scoreless innings before getting into trouble in the fourth inning. Wilkerson gave up five hits, including a home run as GSU took the lead 4-2. Zach Malach relieved Wilkerson and tossed three innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on one hit. He struck out two and walked one.
"Zach pitched well. P.J. did too," Stoecklin added. "We pitched well enough to keep ourselves in the game."
SIUE committed four errors Sunday and 11 errors over the three game series.
"It's a lack of concentration for the most part," Stoecklin said. "Ninety percent of this game is played above the shoulders. At this level if you're not playing it that way you are going to struggle."
Stoecklin admitted that weather issues and lack of outdoor practice time has made things challenging but said the Cougars wouldn't use that as an excuse.
"It's been difficult," Stoecklin said. "We are not going to use that as a crutch. When we get to the park it's our job to be ready to play."
Skyler Geissinger and Devin Caldwell also had multi-hit days for the Cougars. Geissinger was 3 for 4 with a run scored. Caldwell was 2 for 4 Sunday and 6 for 12 for the series.
"Devin's been taking great at-bats," Stoecklin said. "He's been locked in and he's been playing a great right field as well."
Matt McCall (1-0) earned the win for GSU in relief. McCall tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and struck out five.
Garerr Chapman led the Eagles at the plate. He was 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs. Aaron Mizell was 2 for 4 with a two-run home run.
SIUE was scheduled to open the home season Tuesday against Illinois State. The game has been canceled due to weather.
Weather has also forced a change to the Ohio Valley Conference schedule. SIUE and Eastern Illinois also have agreed to move next weekend's OVC series from Coaches Stadium in Charleston, Ill., to Simmons Complex at SIUE. The teams are set to play Friday at 3 p.m. with 1 p.m. games Saturday and Sunday. Eastern Illinois will still serve as the home team for the series.