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Big Inning Leads Cougars Past Eagles

Brock Hammit
Brock Hammit

TULSA, Okla. – SIUE baseball homered three times and scored six runs in the second inning on its way to a 6-4 series-opening win at Oral Roberts.

SIUE improved to 3-4. Oral Roberts fell to 5-1.

The Cougars roughed up ORU starter Josh McMinn, striking for the six runs on six hits. Brock Hammit homered to lead off the inning. Aaron Goecks doubled and then scored on a single by Jackson Layton. Bret Fehr followed with a one-out home run. Peyton Codova-Smith drew a two-out walk and Brock Weimer followed with a home run to cap the inning.

"That was big for us because we had been struggling a little bit at the plate," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said of the Cougars' second inning. "We got some pitches to hit. (McMinn) struggled with command and we took advantage of the opportunity to put up a big inning."

McMinn (0-1) didn't make it out of the second inning. He allowed all six runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out three.

The Golden Eagles came back for three runs on four hits against Cougar starter Nelson Martz in the third inning. ORU centerfielder Nick Rotola homered to start the inning. Spencer Henson and Riley Keizor also picked up RBIs in the inning for Oral Roberts.   

Martz (1-2) earned his first win of the year with a five-inning start. He allowed the three runs on six hits and two walked. He struck out four.  

"That's a quality start for Nelson," Lyons added. "He gave up some runs in the third, but then calmed the waters. He did a good job of not letting things get out of control and gave us two more innings."

Oral Roberts picked up its only other run against SIUE reliever Brock Fulkerson in the sixth inning. Trevor McCutchin led off the frame with a double. He moved to third, and then scored on consecutive groundouts. It was the only run allowed by Fulkerson in two innings.

Collin Baumgartner tossed a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two. Mason McReaken worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save of the year. He struck out two.

"Brock and Collin did a really nice job," Lyons said. "And Mason really attacked the strike zone. That's what we need Mason to do."

Weimer and Fehr each finished with the two RBIs. Goecks added two hits and the run scored.

Both teams left nine men on base.

"Their bullpen did a nice job," Lyons said. "We had some other opportunities, but the bullpen did a good job keeping them in the game."

The series continues with a 2 p.m. game Saturday. Left-hander Ryan Byrd will get the start on the mound for SIUE.

"It was a great way to start the weekend," Lyons said. "A win on Friday against a really good ball club gives us some confidence, but it's only one game. We have to come out and play well again tomorrow."


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