March 23, 2014

Cougars Blank 'Breds, Sweep Series

MURRAY, Ky. – Three SIUE pitchers combined to shut out Murray State as SIUE baseball swept the three-game Ohio Valley Conference series with an 8-0 win Sunday at Reagan Field.

"It was a good weekend," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "We played well all three games. We pitched well, we had timely hitting and we played good defense."

SIUE improved to 7-2 in the OVC and is tied for first in the league with Southeast Missouri. The Cougars are 9-12 overall. Murray State dropped to 4-5 in OVC play and also is 9-12 overall.

Jake Stauffenberg, Jarrett Bednar, and Mike Miller allowed just six hits, struck out nine, and did not walk a hitter to combine for the first shutout of the year.

"We didn't walk a hitter. That's the moral of the story," Stoecklin said. "When you throw strikes, good things happen."

Stauffenberg improved to 1-3 with seven dominant innings. He allowed five hits and struck out a career-high seven hitters. Stauffenberg retired the first 11 hitters he faced for the game. Five of his seven strikeouts came to end an inning.

"Jacob had all three pitches working today," Stoecklin said of the senior starter. "He made some adjustments that we talked about and got after it early in the game."

Bednar (8th) and Miller (9th) each tossed an inning of scoreless relief and each picked up a single strikeout in the process.

The Cougars tagged 'Breds starter Cody Maerz with six runs over the first four innings, including three runs in the top of the first inning.

"Right out of the gate we took some pressure off," Stoecklin added.

Maerz (1-4) allowed four earned runs on six hits over four innings. He walked two and struck out two.

Skyler Geissinger drove in a pair with a sacrifice fly air with a bases-loaded double in the top of the first inning. Alec Saikal added a sacrifice fly to center to make it 3-0 SIUE. Saikal added an RBI-single in a two-run third inning. Chase Green picked up his eighth RBI of the series with a fourth inning double to put the Cougars up 5-0.

Geissinger was 3 for 4 with the pair of RBIs. Green was 3 for 5 with the RBI and a run scored. Green was 6 for 13 (.462) with eight RBIs and three runs scored for the series.

Saikal delivered a one-out, bases loaded double to drive home two in the ninth inning to push the lead to 8-0. Saikal finished 2 for 4 with four RBIs to lead the Cougars.

Dalton West was the only Murray State player with more than a single hit Sunday. He was 2 for 3 with a pair of singles.