EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE scored early and often Friday in an 11-2 win over Eastern Kentucky in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Simmons Complex.
SIUE improved to 16-13 overall and 5-8 in the OVC. EKU dropped to 18-13 and 4-6 in the OVC.
"We got started right off the get-go with three runs in the first," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "The guys stayed hot swinging the bat and got a lot of runs early."
The Cougars scored three times on three hits in the first inning and then added three runs in the third to lead 6-0 after three innings.
The Colonels only two runs came in the fourth with sacrifice flys from Ben Fisher and Dakota Graham to make it 6-2.
Dustin Woodcock grabbed a run back for the Cougars with a home run to lead off the bottom of the inning.
Jared McCunn made it 10-2 Cougars in the fifth with a bases-loaded double to drive home three. Weimer added a sacrifice fly in the seventh for the 11-2 final.
SIUE starter Nelson Martz did not allow a base runner through three innings and worked seven strong innings in the start. He gave up two runs on six hits and struck out four while improving to 4-2.
"He was very efficient," Lyons said of Martz. "His pitch count was low. He had some really quick innings right after we scored some runs. He did a really nice job tonight."
EKU starter Jack Piekos (3-4) allowed 10 runs over 4.2 innings. He walked five and struck out four.
"He's a really good arm," Lyons said of Piekos. "Our guys just jumped on some pitches early on and he started to lose command a little bit and we got some walks. We were able to get some momentum going."
Woodcock was 3 for 3 with two doubles, the home run and two walks. He drove in three.
"Woody has been swinging the bat well here the last three or four games," Lyons said. "He had a good night Tuesday and that continued tonight."
Keaton Wright, McCunn, Stading and Brunk each had two hits.
"A lot of guys are contributing right now," Lyons added.
Colonels' catcher Logan Starnes was the only EKU player with more than a single hit.
Game two of the series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.
"It's only game one," Lyon said. "We told our guys to come back ready with the same energy tomorrow because (EKU) is going to come back fighting tomorrow."