LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A good day from the pitchers wasn't enough to overcome a slow day at the plate for SIUE baseball Saturday. Cougar pitchers allowed just four runs, but SIUE scored just a single run over the course of the day. The University of Arkansas-Little Rock swept a doubleheader, defeating SIUE 2-1 and 2-0.
"I'd take my chances with four runs allowed over two games," SIUE Interim Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "We're just pressing at the plate a little. We're trying to do too much."
SIUE fell to 1-5 with the pair of losses. UALR is now 4-2. The two teams will complete the series with a 1 p.m. game Sunday afternoon.
The Cougars dropped the opener 2-1. SIUE took a lead in the first inning, generating a run with two outs in the inning. The Cougars' run came thanks to a miscue on defense. Matt Highland was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Joel Greatting hit a ball to third, which was misplayed, allowing Greatting to reach, and Highland to score to make it 1-0. Ryan Mansfield followed with a double to left but was left at second base.
Kaleb Jobe doubled to left to start the fourth inning for the Trojans, and then went to third on a liner to right field. Jobe scored the game-tying run when he came home on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Scott. UALR shortstop Austin Pfeiffer waked to start the bottom of the sixth, stole second base, and then scored on an RBI-single by Ben Crumpton.
Freshmen Sam Hopkins and P.J. Schuster each allowed a run over four innings of work. Hopkins, making his first career start, allowed a run on four hits and struck out two. Schuster allowed a run on three hits and struck out five. He fell to 0-1 with the loss.
"Sam was solid," Stoecklin said. He gave us a chance to win. P.J. was outstanding. He threw a lot of strikes and kept us in the game."
Zach Little had a pair of hits in the opener. Greatting and Mansfield had the only other hits against UALR starter Chance Cleveland, who struck out hitters in eight innings of work.
Drew Staples allowed a run on three hits over 5 2/3 innings in the second game.
"(Drew) did a nice job," Stoecklin said. "His fastball was really good. They (UALR hitters) didn't ever really center it off him."
Jake Stauffenberg allowed a run over the final 2 1/3 innings. He struck out two.
UALR came up with single runs in the fourth and eighth innings to earn the sweep.
The Cougars managed eight hits against UALR starter Blake Huffman, but stranded eight runners on base for the game. Huffman (1-0) earned the win. He struck out six.
Jake Michalak, making his first start at second base, went 3 for 4 to lead SIUE. Highland was 2 for 4.