COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Tech held on for a 3-2 Sunday win over SIUE to complete a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series sweep of the Cougars.
SIUE has dropped four straight and fell to 10-9 overall. The Cougars are 2-4 in OVC play. Tennessee Tech improved to 6-0 in the OVC and 15-6 overall.
Tennessee Tech scored a run in the first inning on a pair of hits against SIUE starter Nelson Martz (2-2), who was making his first appearance in a game since March 3, because of illness.
The Golden Eagles went up 3-0 with a pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning. Ryan Flick reached on an error to start the inning. He scored on a squeeze play when Martz's throw to SIUE catcher Brock Weimer was low.
"We made a couple of mistakes in the field, which happens," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "The second error is a tough error to give on a squeeze play and trying to make a play, but we practice those. They (TTU) were fortunate on those plays."
Martz threw 66 pitches in four-plus innings of work. He allowed three runs, one earned on four hits. He struck out two.
"Nelly set the tone for us," Lyons said of his starter. "He threw well in his limited innings. He kind of ran out of gas. He started to leave some balls up in the zone, which he hadn't been doing early on and they took advantage of it."
SIUE's bullpen took over in the fifth and proceeded to throw four scoreless innings. Michael Shereyk threw 1 1/3 innings allowing three hits but no runs. Tristan Walters threw two scoreless innings striking out two and Mason McReaken struck out the only two batters he faced.
"Shereyk and Walters came out of the pen and gave us good performances," Lyons added. "Tristan was able to find his changeup, which is a piece that's been missing for him the past couple of outings, so that was really good to see."
TTU starter Chase Burkett (3-1) kept the Cougars off the scoreboard until the fourth. Keaton Wright led off the inning with his second home run in the series and his fourth of the year to make it 3-1. Three batters later Weimer connected on his third home run of the series to make it 3-2.
Weimer finished at 2 for 4. For the series he was 5 for 13 (.385) with three home runs and nine RBIs.
"Brock swung the bat really well," Lyons said. "He got some really big hits in key situations. Not only did he have the home runs but they were in big spots in the games as well. It was a heck of a weekend out of him and we look for that to continue."
"Kudos to (Roberts) out of the pen," Lyons said. "That's twice he's come in in tough spots and gotten them out of a jam."
Roberts tossed 3.1 scoreless innings to earn his fifth save of the year. SIUE's leadoff hitter was on in each of the last three innings, but the Cougars couldn't score a run.
"We had some opportunities late, but just couldn't get the big hit," Lyons added. "We had the right guys up in some key situations."
The Cougars will play host to Evansville Wed. at Simmons Complex. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. against the purple aces.