Cougars Fall to Saints

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Maryville scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the top of the eighth inning Wednesday and held on for a 7-6 win over SIUE in nonconference action at Simmons Baseball Complex.

Maryville (8-10) took advantage of seven walks and two hit batters by Cougar pitchers.

"Our problem tonight was our terrible pitching," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "It's guys being afraid to compete. That's the problem. It's being afraid to stick your nose in there that's the problem with some guys on this pitching staff."

Brett Thomas (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing a run on two hits in 1/3 of an inning of relief. Mike Miller started the game for SIUE and allowed two runs on three hits, while walking two in 2 1/3 innings. Zach Malach allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out four and walking two in 4 1/3 innings in relief. Caleb Wilkerson allowed a run in relief, while walking the only two batters he faced. Jarrett Bednar finished the night with two scoreless innings in relief. He did not allow a hit, struck out two, and walked one.  

The Cougars (9-13) got an RBI triple from Denton Reed and an RBI double by Skyler Geissinger in the sixth inning to score three times to take a 6-3 lead.

The Saints quickly tied the game in the top of the seventh inning thanks to four walks in the inning. Maryville catcher Nick Stading drove in two runs with a two-out single.  Stading finished 2 for 3 with the pair of RBIs.

After being retired in order in the bottom of the seventh, the Cougars had scoring chances in each of the final two innings. Reed walked to start the eighth inning and Devin Caldwell was hit by a pitch with one out before back-to-back strikeouts left both runners stranded.

In the ninth Keaton Wright, pinch-hitting, reached second on an error to start the inning, Doug Putkowski pinch ran at second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Sipe. Jake Michalak struck out before Nick Lombardo reached first on catcher's interference. Reed drew a two-out walk to load the bases before a strikeout by Chase Green left the bases loaded.

SIUE outhit the Saints 10-8 but didn't have a hit after the sixth inning. The Cougars left 15 runners on base, the second highest total of the season.

"We didn't take good at-bats when we needed to," Stoecklin added. "We left a lot of men on base. We took poor at-bats for about four innings, up and down the lineup."

Reed finished 2 for 3 with the RBI and two runs scored. Alec Saikal was 2 for 5 with an RBI. Green was 2 for 6 with an RBI.  

"It was a combination of things, but pitching sets the tone and we set a bad tone right out of the gate tonight by not throwing strikes," Stoecklin said.

Maryville reliever Brandon Sarkissian (2-2) earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief. He struck out four.

SIUE returns to Ohio Valley Conference play this weekend when it plays host to Tennessee Tech at Simmons Baseball Complex. First pitch for Friday's opener is scheduled for 6 p.m.