EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball will open Ohio Valley Conference play with a three-game series with Murray State.
Because of cold, wet weather forecasted for Saturday, the series will open with a Friday doubleheader beginning at noon. The two teams will take Saturday off before playing the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Cougars (8-5) had a four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday night, falling in a mid-week contest to Saint Louis. SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons isn't worried about whether or not his team will be prepared.
"We've done a good job playing one game at a time," Lyons said. "That's our plan. Have a good practice and build some momentum for the weekend."
The Racers (8-4) are coming off a come-from-behind win over SIU Carbondale on Wednesday night.
"Murray State is a really good offensive group," Lyons said. "They are a team that plays with a lot of confidence regardless of the score as was evident last night."
The series will match the league's best hitting team in Murray State, which holds the OVC's highest team batting average at .322, and one of the best pitching teams in SIUE, which owns a team earned run average of 4.54, good for third in the league.
"We'd love to see the bats get going," Lyons added. "Our pitching and defense has been solid to this point."
The Cougars will use the same rotation as they have in each of the first three weekends with the exception of Danny Ehrsam. The Cougars played four-game series during the first three weeks of the season. Ehrsam has started three games.
"The rotation is always open," Lyons said. "We feel like having Danny available out of the bullpen gives us a lift. Plus Brendan (Miller) has some OVC experience, and we look for that to be an advantage."
Lyons also cited the SIUE bullpen and its depth as one of SIUE's strengths.
"We have a lot of guys stepping up to show they're ready to contribute," Lyons said. "It's a nice problem to have."
Probable Pitching Matchup
Game 1: SIUE RHP Nelson Martz (2-1) vs. Murray State RHP Ryan Dills (1-0)
Game 2: SIUE RHP Brock Fulkerson (1-1) vs. Murray State RHP Austin Dubsky (2-1)
Game 3: SIUE RHP Brendan Miller (0-0) vs. Murray State LHP Jack Hranec (1-0)