HAMMOND, La. – SIUE baseball collected 10 hits for the second consecutive day, but it wasn't enough. Southeastern Louisiana used a pair of big innings Saturday to take the second game of a three-game series, 13-6.
"The walks and the free bases hurt us again," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "Every opportunity we gave them they took advantage. It was too much to overcome."
SIUE starter Brock Fulkerson faced the minimum in the first inning before the Lions jumped on the Cougars' right-hander in the second.
Following back-to-back walks to start the inning, Southeastern centerfielder Bryce Steckler opened the scoring with a two-run triple. Rightfielder Mike Taylor picked up a one-out RBI single to make it 3-0. Brennan Breaud singled to drive home a run and Cody Grosse added an RBI-groundout to put the Lions up 5-0.
Fulkerson lasted into the fourth allowing five runs on four hits and five walks. He struck out six and took the loss.
The Cougars scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to pull within two and 5-3.
Jackson Layton, who was a late addition to the lineup, homered to lead off the third inning. Peyton Cordova-Smith led off the fourth inning with a double and later came around to score on an Aaron Goecks RBI on fielder's choice. The Cougars third run came thanks to four walks in the sixth. Bret Fehr picked the RBI on a bases loaded pass.
Southeastern widened the gap again with five runs on five hits and two walks in the bottom of the sixth inning. All five runs came against SIUE reliever Chris Robinson.
Robinson finished the fourth inning and tossed a scoreless fifth inning before bowing out in the sixth. He gave up five runs over two innings in relief. He walked three.
"Chris Robinson pitched well until the walks caught up to him and he got into some trouble in the sixth," Lyons said.
Southeastern scored two runs in the seventh, including an unearned run thanks to a throwing error, to go up 12-3.
Bret Fehr drove in two runs with a single in the eighth inning to make it 12-5. It was 13-5 when Goecks picked up his second RBI of the day in the ninth with an RBI double.
Lyons said he was generally pleased with the offense, singling out Feher, Cordova-Smith, Layton and Goecks, who all had two hits.
Southeastern Louisiana finished with 13 hits. Breaud was 4 for 4 with two RBIs. Grosse was 1 for 5 with three RBIs.
"It's truly a matter of execution," Lyons said of the Cougars' pitching woes. Guys had been throwing strikes in the fall and in the preseason. I am hoping this has just been an unfortunate two games."
The Cougars and Lions will play the final game of the series Sunday. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
"No matter the scores, your 0-2," Lyons added. "You want to come out on Sunday and try to salvage something from the series."