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Four-Run Third Inning Leads Bulldogs over Cougars

Brock Fulkerson
Brock Fulkerson

RUSTON, La. – Ryan Byrd turned in five innings in his first start in an SIUE uniform and The Cougar bullpen didn't allow a run over three innings, but Louisiana Tech picked up a 4-1 win over SIUE Saturday in the second game of a three-game series.

The Cougars dropped to 1-4. The Bulldogs improved to 5-2.

"Ryan Byrd gave us a solid start," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "He put us in position to have success. We just couldn't get the big hit."

Louisiana Tech shortstop Dalton Skelton hit a two-run home run as part of the Bulldogs' four-run third, which accounted for all of their scoring. Skelton finished the day 2 for 4.

Byrd (0-1) allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits over his five innings. He struck out two and walked one. Brock Fulkerson worked two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and struck out two. David Llorens worked to one hitter and Chris Robinson added a scoreless frame, striking out one.

"With Byrd starting, it allowed us to move Brock Fulkerson to the bullpen and he really did a nice job," Lyons said. "And then we were able to get David (Llorens) and Chris (Robinson) some work.

The Cougars loaded the bases in the fifth inning with one out thanks to consecutive singles by Jared McCunn, Jackson Layton and Mario Tursi. Eric Giltz grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"We definitely had an opportunity in the fifth inning and just couldn't find the hit when we needed it," Lyons added. "We're kind of in a funk offensively right now. We're having a hard time at the plate. We have had too many strikeouts this weekend."

Louisiana Tech starter Logan Robbins (2-0) pitched 5.2 scoreless innings. He allowed just five hits, did not walk a hitter and struck out six.

SIUE's lone run came in the top of the ninth against Bulldog reliever Graham Alrich. Brock Weimer doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Chris Monasmith. McCunn picked up the RBI on a fielder's choice which scored Weimer from third.

Weimer finished 2 for 4 with the run scored.

"One bright spot was Brock Weimer starting to show some life and signs that he's getting out of his early funk," Lyons said.

 Sunday's finale has been moved up and first pitch will come at 10 a.m. to avoid weather later in the day. Kenny Serwa, who pitched five innings last Sunday will start for SIUE.

"Hopefully we get another good start from Kenny Serwa and we can get something going offensively," Lyons said.

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