CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – SIUE and Southeast Missouri combined for 16 runs in the final two innings Sunday and traded leads four times. In the end, the Redhawks outlasted the Cougars 11-10 to sweep a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series.
SIUE fell to 5-16 overall and 1-8 in OVC play. The Cougars have dropped 10 consecutive games. Southeast Missouri improved to 10-15 overall and 7-2 in the OVC.
"It was a crazy finish to the day," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "Both team were scratching and clawing. It was a battle back and forth and they just happen to be the last team standing."
With the Cougars leading 10-7, Southeast Missouri scored four times on three hits and three walks to take the 11-10 win. Tristan Gagen drove home two with a single and Danny Wright won the game with a two-run single.
Mason McReaken (2-1) worked the final inning and a third. He allowed five runs and suffered the loss.
Trailing 4-1, the Cougars scored four times in the top of the eighth inning, capped off by a three-run home run from Aaron Goecks, to lead 5-4. Goecks finished the day with four RBIs.
"What a huge at-bat for Goecks-staying on a pitch and taking it the other way," Lyons said. "We felt confident we get something started if we could get into the bullpen. We got an opportunity in the eighth and punched in four runs. That's huge for our guys."
Southeast Missouri designated hitter Justin Dirden hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-5 lead, but the Cougars answered again.
SIUE scored five times in the ninth inning with four hits, two walks and a hit batter. Jared McCunn walked with the bases loaded to force home a runs before Goecks drove in another with a sacrifice fly to center. Aaron Jackson ripped a double to the wall in left center to put the Cougars up 9-7. Jordan Ross singled to put the Cougars up 10-7.
"To come back in the ninth after giving up the lead and putting up a five-spot is a real bright spot for our offense," Lyons added.
Jackson, who came off the bench in the seventh, was 2 for 3 with the two RBIs.
"He had two big hits and obviously the huge one in the ninth," Lyons said.
Kenny Serwa started on the mound for the Cougars and turned his longest outing of the year at 6 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs on six hits. He did not walk a hitter and struck out four. He retired the last 11 Redhawk hitters he faced.
"He gave us a solid start and got stronger as the game went on," Lyons said. "His last three innings were his best. We needed that from him."
Dirden led Southeast at the plate. He was 2 for 5 with two home runs and five RBIs.
The Cougars are scheduled to play host to Evansville Tuesday at Simmons Complex. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.