Daniels' Gem Leads Cougars Past Golden Eagles

Ryan Daniels

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Ryan Daniels fired his first career complete game Friday night as SIUE defeated Tennessee Tech 3-1 in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series at Simmons Baseball Complex. The win keeps the Cougars in first place in the OVC.

SIUE improved to 8-2 in the OVC and 10-13 overall. The Cougars remained tied for first with Southeast Missouri, which defeated UT Martin Friday. Tennessee Tech dropped to 21-6 overall and 6-4 in the OVC.

Daniels used 101 pitches to go the distance. He allowed a run on five hits and struck out five, including TTU's Jordan Parris with two runners on base to end the game.

"He was awesome. That's the best adjective for how he pitched," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "He went out there and beat one of the best teams in the league, maybe the best team in the league. He went right after them and took care of business."

With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth, the Cougars strung together three consecutive two-out hits to take the 3-1 lead. Nick Lombardo roped a double to left center and then scored on Denton Reed's RBI single to put the Cougars in front 2-1.

"That was clutch," Stoecklin said of Reed's at-bat. "We needed that. It was the deciding factor in the game, offensively."

Reed scored from first on an RBI double by Chase Green to make it 3-1.

Tech's only run came in the third inning. Anthony El Chibani tripled with one out and then scored on a sacrifice bunt by Parris to put the Golden Eagles up 1-0.

The Cougars tied the game in the sixth inning against TTU starter David Hess. Jacob Stewart walked to start the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lombardo. Reed followed with an RBI single down the right field line to make it 1-1.

Reed finished 2 for 3 with the pair of RBIs.

Hess (5-1) also tossed a complete game for Tennessee Tech. He allowed all three runs on five hits. He struck out five.

The two teams play the second game of the series Saturday with the first pitch set for 1 p.m.

Stoecklin said the Cougars will be ready.

"It's just one game, we didn't win the series tonight," he said. "We're going to enjoy this tonight and come back focused tomorrow."