MURRAY, Ky. – SIUE and Murray State split a doubleheader Friday to open the Ohio Valley Conference baseball season at Reagan Field.
The Cougars pulled out a 10-7 win in 10 innings in game one, while the Racers got a walkoff home run in the ninth inning to grab a 6-5 game two win.
Both teams are 1-1 in OVC play. SIUE is 5-7 overall and Murray State is 8-7 overall.
Murray State answered with three runs in the seventh inning to tie the score.
"I was so proud of the guys, because there was never a feeling of panic at all," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "The guys were calm and confident."
SIUE loaded the bases in the 10th inning on two walks and a hit batter. Jordan Ross then cleared the bases with a double to the wall in left field.
"We inserted (Jordan) into the leadoff spot just to give us a little bit of a spark," Lyons said. "He had three hits in game one, but none bigger than the double in the 10th inning."
Ross was 3-6 with three RBIs in game one. Peyton Cordova-Smith got the Cougars on the board with a leadoff home run in the second inning. He was 2-4.
Brock Fulkerson (1-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief. He did not allow a hit and struck out two. Mason McReaken worked a flawless bottom half of the 10th, striking out two for his third save of the year.
"Those two guys have been our mainstays coming out of the pen," Lyons said. "Brock Fulkerson did a nice job of bridging the gap and giving us an opportunity to score three in the 10th."
Nelson Martz worked his longest outing of the year in the start. He tossed six innings allowing four runs. He struck out a season-high eight batters but walked five.
"Nellie kept grinding and battling through what maybe wasn't his best outing," Lyons added. "He had a few too many walks which got him into some tough situations but he was able to battle through and give us six strong innings.
Murray State reliever Chance Carner suffered the loss in game one. He allowed just one run in 3.1 innings.
The Cougars collected 10 hits in game two, but left 11 runners on base.
"We left too many guys on base," Lyons said. "It's a positive to have some many guys reaching base; we just need to come through with that big hit."
SIUE built a 4-1 lead in the second game, before Murray State answered. The Racers took a 5-4 lead into the ninth inning, when the Cougars scored another two-out run. Chris Monasmith singled up the middle to score Ross who had singled to start the inning. The Cougars left the bases loaded when the inning ended.
Racers' first baseman Ramsey Scott hit a two out solo home run to right to give Murray State the 6-5 victory.
Ryan Byrd started for the Cougars and allowed four runs in 6.1 innings. He struck out six. Chris Robinson (0-1) suffered the loss. He allowed two runs, including the home run, over 2.1 innings. He struck out two.
"Ryan did a nice job on the mound," Lyons said. And Chris Robinson did fine until the very end. It's unfortunate the game ended the way it did.
Tyler Anderson (1-0) earned the win for the Racers despite allowing the game-tying run in the top of the ninth.
The series finale is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.