EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Morehead State escaped with a 3-2 win over SIUE Thursday night in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series at Simmons Baseball Complex.
Morehead State improved to 17-13 overall and 4-3 in the OVC with the win. SIUE has now lost five consecutive games and is 13-16 and 2-5 in the OVC.
Morehead State scored a pair of runs in the top of the eighth inning to comeback from a 2-1 deficit. The Eagles chased SIUE starter Travis Felax on three consecutive singles. Jeff Birkofer opened the inning with a dribbler down the third base line for an infield hit. Taylor Pickes then bunted for a hit, lifting the bunt over charging third baseman Zach Hawkins. Nick Duff then lined a single to center to load the bases.
Dustin Quattrocchi relieved Felax and struck out the first two hitters he faced. Eagles' catcher Eric Bainer followed and hit a 2-2 pitch from Quattrocchi down the left field line. Left fielder Nick Lombardo couldn't hang on to the foul ball extending the at-bat. Bainer lined the next pitch into shallow left, driving home two runs.
Felax fell to 4-3 with the loss. The right-hander pitched seven innings allowing all three runs, though only one was earned. He struck out three. Quattrocchi pitched two scoreless innings striking out four.
"He (Felax) certainly deserved better, and Quattrocchi was masterful," SIUE Head Coach Gary Collins said. "We kept giving them extra outs. You can't do that."
Eric Bainer finished 2 for 4 with the two RBIs.
SIUE trailed 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Devin Caldwell connected on his third home run of the year to tie the game. Lombardo reached on a fielder's choice and then scored on a two-out single by James Vazquez to put the Cougars ahead 2-1.
Caldwell was 1 for 3 with the home run. Vazquez finished 1 for 5 with the RBI. Chase Green was 2 for 4 for SIUE.
Morgan Cirbo (5-0) earned the win in relief. He pitched just 2/3 of an inning, walking two. Matt Duncan earned his OVC-leading ninth save of the year with a 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out one. Aaron Goe started the game and tossed 6 2/3 innings allowing two runs on eight hits. He struck out one.
The series continues with a 6 p.m. game Friday night.