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Baseball Fights Back for First Win of the Season

Kenny Serwa
Kenny Serwa

HAMMOND, La. – SIUE baseball scored four two-out runs in the ninth inning Sunday to grab a come-from-behind 7-4 win over Southeastern Louisiana.

The Cougars improved to 1-2. Southeastern Louisiana is 2-1.

"Today was a really good baseball game," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "The game was well-played by both sides."

Trailing 4-3, Jackson Layton and Steven Pattan singled to start the ninth inning. Bret Fehr then walked to load the bases. Jordan Ross reached on an error, allowing Layton to score to tie the game. Peyton Cordova-Smith then drilled an 0-1 pitch to left center to drive home three and put SIUE on top.

"It was great to see our guys, after giving up a lead, keep playing," Lyons added.

Mason McReaken threw 2.1 shutout innings to earn the win. McReaken struck out two and induced a game-ending double play in the bottom of the ninth inning from Southeastern's No. 3 hitter, designated hitter Tyler Schwaner.

"Mason had faced him before and we thought he matched up well," Lyons said. "Mason is our guy at the end of games. He may not have had great command today, but what you need is your guy to make that pitch when you it matters most and he did that."

Evan Hileman allowed all four runs in the ninth inning and suffered the loss for Southeastern.

Layton led SIUE at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a home run. Layton started the last two games in place of an injured Dustin Woodcock in right field.

"What a weekend he had," Lyons said. "He stepped right in and did not miss a beat. He had some really big hits in some key situations."

Ross and Chris Monasmith each had two hits for the Cougars. Cordova-Smith was 1 for 3 with the double and three RBIs.

After going down 1-0 in the first, the Cougars took the lead with single runs in the second, third and fourth innings.

Eric Giltz doubled to drive home Jared McCunn in the second to tie the game. Chris Monasmith singled to drive home Ross in the second to put the Cougars on top for the first time. Layton made it 3-1 in the fourth with his second home run in as many days to lead off the fourth inning.

Newcomer Kenny Serwa gave SIUE its longest outing from a starter so far. The transfer from Saint Joseph's (Indiana) tossed five innings allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out two.   

"Hats off to Kenny," Lyons said. "He had great command of his fastball and gave us five strong innings."

Southeastern scored a run in the sixth inning against Serwa and then plated two in the seventh against reliever Collin Baumgartner. Brennan Breaud drove home both runs with a single.

"It was a great learning experience for the freshman," Lyons said of Baumgartner. "He gave up a couple of hits and a couple of runs, but handled his first outing great."

Lyons also cited freshman catcher Pattan, who made his first start behind the plate.

"He did an outstanding job," Lyons said.

Schwaner and Cody Grosse both were 2 for 4 to lead the Lions.   

The Cougars return to Louisiana next weekend for a three-game series at Louisiana Tech.

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