EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Evansville edged SIUE 8-6 Tuesday night in college baseball at Simmons Baseball Complex. SIUE has now lost four in a row.
"We had some opportunities," SIUE Head Coach Gary Collins said. "You should be able to win some games with six runs, but you can't win any when you put 10 guys on base."
Evansville (19-10) scored two runs in the first inning against SIUE starter Drew Staples. Staples walked three hitters in the inning and hit a batter. He settled in and pitched into the sixth inning, allowing four runs on three hits over five innings. Staples walked five, hit three, and struck out three. He left with two runners on base and no one out in the sixth inning.
"Five innings, five walks, and three hit batters; that pretty much sums it up," Collins said of his starter.
Luke Ingersoll (0-1) took the loss in relief. Ingersoll followed Staples in the game and gave up a triple to Jason Hockemeyer, which allowed both inherited runners to score. He allowed three runs of his own in just over an inning of work. He struck out two.
Trailing 2-0, SIUE (13-15) scored a run in the first inning on an RBI-single by Devin Caldwell. Travis Becherer scored the run after reaching on a one-out bunt-single. Caldwell scored in the fourth inning to tie the game. After walking to leadvoff the inning, Caldwell advanced to third on single by Matt Highland. He scored when Zach Hawkins grounded into a double play.
The Aces led 5-2 in the sixth when SIUE cut into the lead again. Joel Greatting doubled to start the inning. Highland drove in Greatting with a one-out double of his own. Highland scored on a fielder's choice from Nick Lombardo to make it 5-4.
Evansville went back up in the seventh with two runs on three hits. Hockemeyer added another RBI on a two-out single. Hockemeyer finished 2 for 5 with a team-high three RBIs.
Greatting added an RBI in the bottom of the inning with his second double of the night to score Vazquez which made it 7-5.
The Cougars made things interesting in the ninth. With Evansville leading 8-5 and two outs in the inning, Vazquez and Becherer drew back-to-back walks before Greatting hit a long single down the right field line scoring Vazquez on the play. Interference was ruled on the play, allowing Greatting to reach second. Aces' reliever Sam Johns was able to get Lombardo to fly out to right to end the game.
Greatting led the way for the Cougars. He was 3 for 5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Highland was 2 for 4 with the RBI.
"Joel gave us some offense," Collins said. "He had some keys hits that put us in a position to tie the game, we just couldn't do it. Matt has earned himself some more at bats. He has certainly been swinging the bat well."
Evansville starter Ryan Billon (5-0) earned the win, allowing four runs on eight hits. He struck out one. Johns allowed the run over two innings to earn his first save.
SIUE remains home to host Ohio Valley Conference for Morehead State Thursday at Simmons Baseball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.