May 6, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - SIUE scored three times with two outs in the 11th inning Friday to defeat Samford 8-5 in the opener of a three-game college baseball series at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
"We hung in there tonight and kept playing," SIUE Head Coach Gary Collins said.
Devin Caldwell broke the 5-5 tie with a double to the center field wall with two outs in the 11th. James Vazquez scored after reaching on a single to start the inning. The hit was Caldwell's lone hits. He was 1 for 5 with two RBIs.
"He's not afraid to hit in those kinds of spots," Collins said of Caldwell. "And he's gotten it done more than his share of times."
SIUE, 20-22, trailed 5-3 before scoring twice in the ninth inning to force extra innings. Travis Becherer tied the game when he bounced a one-out, two-run single over second base. Chase Green and Vazquez, who had each doubled, scored on the play to even the score, 5-5. In total, the Cougars scored five times on nine hits over their last three at-bats.
"We had some real big at-bats late," Collins said. "We took better at-bats at the end of the game."
SIUE improved to 2-2 in extra inning games this season.
Vazquez finished the night 4 for 6 with four runs scored to lead the way at the plate. Becherer was 2 for 4 with the pair of RBIs. Green was 3 for 6 with a run scored.
Thad Hawkins, 3-2, earned the win thanks to three scoreless innings in relief. He struck out three.
"What can you say about Thad at the end?" Collins said. "I know he is going to give me everything he has every night."
Lex Rutledge, 5-4, allowed the three runs on six hits over the final two innings in the loss.
Caldwell put the Cougars on top early, driving in Vazquez in the first inning with a groundout. Vazquez had singled to start the game.
SIUE scored twice in the third inning to extend its lead to 3-0. Mitch Matecki drove home Vazquez with a groundout. Zach Hawkins singled with two outs to score Becherer, who had singled earlier in the inning.
Zach Hawkins finished the game 2 for 6 with two RBIs. Matecki was 1 for 6 with the RBI.
Samford, 27-19, got on the board thanks to an unearned run in the bottom of the third, The Bulldogs then scored three times on four hits in the seventh to chase SIUE starter Travis Felax. Felax tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowing all five runs, four earned, on 13 hits. He struck out 3.
Brad Moss was 4 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs for Samford.
The Cougars and Bulldogs continue the series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday.