Tech's Big Inning Downs Cougars

Nick Lombardo
Nick Lombardo

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Tennessee Tech used a five-run fourth inning to defeat SIUE 8-5 Saturday in the second game of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series at Simmons Baseball Complex.

The loss snapped a four-game OVC winning streak for SIUE. The Cougars dropped to 8-3 in conference play and 10-14 overall. Tennessee Tech improved to 7-4 in the OVC and 22-6 overall.

"We felt like we were in that game the whole way," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "We just couldn't overcome that five spot we gave up in the fourth inning. The big inning is crusher. It's hard to overcome that in a conference game against a good team."

The Cougars opened the scoring in the second inning, which began with a double by Devin Caldwell. Caldwell moved to third on a ground out by Skyler Geissinger and then scored on a groundout by Alec Saikal.

The Golden Eagles sent 10 hitters to the plate in the fourth and scored the five runs on four hits and three walks in the inning. Cougar starter Evan Martens started the inning, before being relieved by Jarrett Bednar.

Martens (2-3) allowed five runs on six hits in just 3 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.

"For some reason (Martens) went out there today with little confidence and I don't know why," Stoecklin said. "He did not have the same presence on the mound that he had last weekend at Murray State."

It was 6-1 TTU in the sixth when the Cougars batted around. Helped by three Golden Eagle errors, SIUE scored four unearned runs. Nick Lombardo, Geissinger, and Saikal each had infield hits in the inning. Saikal's hit was the only one to drive home a run. It was 6-5 after six innings.

TTU scored twice more in the ninth against SIUE reliever Brett Thomas for the 8-5 final.

SIUE stranded the bases loaded three times during the game, and stranded 15 runners for the game.

"We pressed and took some bad at-bats when we need to put together an inning and drive a run in," Stoecklin said. "We chased some balls; we got away from our approach. We saw guys taking swings that weren't within their approach."

Tennessee Tech starter Chris Chism improved to 4-0 with the win. Chism allowed three runs, one earned, on six hits. He walked four and struck out four.

Lombardo led SIUE at the plate. He was 3 for 4 with a run scored. Saikal was 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Denton Reed was 2 for 4.

TTU centerfield Jake Rowland led the Golden Eagles offensively. He was 3 for 5 with an RBI. Daniel Miles was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.

The Cougars and Golden Eagles will wrap up the three-game series with a 1 p.m. game Sunday.

"That was our goal when we started the weekend - to win the series," Stoecklin said. "We're still within reach of doing that. We're going to let go of this loss and we're going to focus on tomorrow."

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