March 2, 2012

Cougars Offense Comes Alive in Home Opener Win

March 2, 2012

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - SIUE scored 14 times between the second and seventh innings Friday to pick up a come-from-behind 14-6 win over North Dakota State in the baseball home opener at Simmons Baseball Complex.

NDSU (5-3) took a 5-0 lead with a five-run second inning against SIUE starter Travis Felax. Nick Colwell drove home two with a double before Zach Wentz homered to right to put the Bison on top.

Felax (2-1) would last five innings to earn the win. He allowed the five runs on nine hits. He struck out one and did not walk a hitter.

SIUE (3-4) answered with a three-run bottom of the second. Brett Keeler walked with the bases loaded before Chase Green ripped a two-run single up the middle to make it 5-3. Mitch Matecki hit a one-out solo homer and Joel Greatting added an RBI-double in the third inning to tie the score.

The Cougars took the lead for good with a five-run fourth inning, to chase Bison starter John Straka. Green belted a one-out home run, the first of his collegiate career, to make it 6-5 Cougars. Travis Becherer singled with two outs to drive home a run before Zach Hawkins broke the game open with a two-out, three-run home run to make it 10-5.

Straka (1-2) suffered the loss for NDSU allowing 10 runs, seven earned, on 11 hits. He struck out one and walked two. SIUE scored three more runs in the third on an RBI-single by James Vazquez and consecutive run-scoring outs. Matecki grounded out to first to drive in a run, before Devin Caldwell hit a sacrifice fly to center to make it 13-5. Matecki added his third RBI of the day in the seventh to make it 14-5. Matecki finished 2 for 5 with the home run and three RBIs. Zach Hawkins was 2 for 4 with the homer and three RBIs. Green finished 2 for 4 with the homer and three RBIs. Vazquez, Becherer and Greatting each had three hits and an RBI in the win. In all, the Cougars banged out 17 hits against four Bison pitchers.

Tony Schaeffer tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He stuck out three but walked four. Thad Hawkins faced a single batter, striking out Wentz with the bases loaded in the eighth. Drew Staples threw the ninth inning for the Cougars allowing a run on three walks.

Tim Colwell was 3 for 5 with an RBI for the Bison. Nick Colwell was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Wentz was 1 for 4 with a pair of RBIs.

The series continues tomorrow. SIUE and NDSU will meet in a double-header beginning at 1 p.m.