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Colonels Hold off Cougars to Avoid Sweep

Dustin Woodcock robs a home run
Dustin Woodcock robs a home run

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Eastern Kentucky avoided a sweep at the hands of SIUE baseball Sunday with a 17-9 in the finale of the three-game series.

The loss dropped the Cougars to 17-14 overall and 6-9 in the OVC. EKU improved to 19-14 overall and 5-7 in the OVC.

"You set out every weekend to win two out of three and we accomplished that, we just didn't play our best today," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "We told our guys it was a successful weekend.

"Kudos to (Eastern Kentucky)," Lyons continued. "We jumped on them early and got off to a lead."

The Cougars got out to a 2-0 lead in the first and led 7-2 after three innings.

Keaton Wright homered in each of the first two innings while Dustin Woodcock, Marty Brunk and Eric Giltz each added RBIs. Giltz drove him two with a double in the first inning.

Woodcock showed off his defensive skills robbing EKU first baseman Ben Fisher of a home run with a leaping grab over the right field wall.

"He made a great play," Lyons said of the catch. "The timing couldn't have been better."

Fisher made up for it with a two-run home run in his second at-bat in third inning.

The Colonels took over in the fourth, scoring seven times on four hits and never trailed again. Shea Sullivan capped the inning with a grand slam.

EKU added two runs in the fifth inning and then scored single runs in the sixth and seventh before closing it out with a four-run ninth inning.

"It was a tough day for the pitchers on both teams with the wind blowing out," Lyons said. "The name of the game was the free bases. We had eight walks; that really bit us. They got some big hits. Anytime you put guys on for free it's going to hurt you."

The Colonels finished the game with 20 hits. Alex Holderbach led the way, going 4 for 6. He homered and drove home three. Fisher and Ryland Kerr each had three hits.

Cougar reliever Tristan Walters (1-4) took the loss. He allowed two runs in 2/3 of an inning. He followed Danny Ehrsam into the game. Ehrsam started and was charged with seven runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Woodcock led SIUE with three hits. He was 4 for 5 with three doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. He was 8 for 11 (.727) with six doubles, a home run, four RBIs and six runs scored.

"What a great weekend for him," Lyons said. "A lot of guys swung the bat well, but he really had an exceptional weekend."

Wright, Jordan Stading and Eric Giltz each had two hits for the Cougars.

EKU reliever Caleb Johnson earned the win, stifling the Cougars at the plate for more than six innings. He allowed two runs, just one earned, on four hits over 6 1/3 innings of relief. He struck out six to improve to 1-0.

"He did a great job," Lyons added. "He put up some zeroes and some single runs here and there after they took the lead in the fourth inning."

The Cougars remain home for a Tuesday contest against Bradley. First pitch comes at 6 p.m.

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