CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – Southeast Missouri State scored eight times in the fifth inning on its way to an 11-6 win over SIUE in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series at Capaha Park.
SIUE dropped to 5-14 overall and 1-6 in OVC play. The Cougars have lost eight in a row.
"We're finding ways to lose right now," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "We really just have to go back to the basics. You have to play good clean baseball. That means limit the walks. We had eight today from our pitchers. We had just one error but it came at a crucial point. The inability to play good, clean baseball for nine innings is hurting us."
The Redhawks, who improved to 5-2 in OVC play and 8-15 overall, had a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and third innings.
SIUE answered with runs in the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game 2-2. Brock Weimer hit his third home run of the year in the fourth. Eric Giltz laid down a safety squeeze bunt to score Bret Fehr in the fifth inning.
Southeast scored eight times on four hits and four walks in the fifth inning for a 10-2 lead.
Nelson Martz (1-4) started and suffered the loss. He pitched into the fifth inning where he failed to record an out. He struck out four, but walked four in his shortest outing of his last four.
"He had pressure on him every inning," Lyons said of Martz. "Sometimes when you have some pressure early on it can take a little bit out of you. Then he just kind of lost the fastball command there in the sixth."
Brock Fulkerson was called on to quell the situation, but worked to just five batters in 2/3 of an inning. He walked two.
"We brought Brock out of the pen to limit the damage and it didn't happen," Lyons said. "It was uncharacteristic of him. We got him and got him out so we didn't burn him for the rest of the weekend."
Tyler Hutchinson finished the fifth and worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
"Hutch came in and did a nice job," Lyons said. "He really settled things down. He did a nice job to keep us in the ballgame so that we could keep clawing and trying to get back into it."
The Cougars pulled four runs back in the top of the sixth inning. Aaron Goecks laced a double to the right field wall to score two. Steven Pattan plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Jordan Ross singled to drive in a run.
"I give our guys credit, we did battle back and put up four runs in the top of the sixth," Lyons said.
SEMO scored its final run in the eighth for the 11-6 final.
The Cougars collected nine hits. Ross, Giltz and Weimer each had two hits.
"I thought the at-bats were better," Lyons said. "Our guys just put together better 'a-bs'. We obviously need that to continue."
Both Ross and Pattan made several strong defensive plays. Ross made a diving play on a ball up the middle in the fourth inning to rob Connor Basler of a hit. Pattan caught two runners stealing and threw out three runners total in the game.
"Steven Pattan did a great job behind the dish," Lyons said. "He does a great job defensively for us. We knew that when we recruited him, but the work he has put in has made him even better."
SEMO starter Christian Vick (4-1) threw five innings for the win. He allowed four runs on seven hits and struck out four.
Redhawks' leadoff hitter Chase Urhahn picked up three hits and scored three runs to lead Southeast.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, but may be adjusted for weather.