EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball steps out of Ohio Valley Conference play for a three-game series at Samford.
SIUE and Samford will play a single game Friday night and a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars are in the midst of a seven-game road trip. SIUE is 10-29 overall. Samford is 24-18.
The Cougars and Bulldogs have met just three previous times. SIUE dropped two of three at Samford, during the 2011 season. The Bulldogs were members of the OVC from 2003-2008.
"Samford is a real quality club," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "Their head coach, Casey Dunn, has done a great job elevating the program. It will be a real challenge for us this weekend, but it's kind of nice to get out of league play and play someone fresh. Hopefully our guys get excited about the opportunity this weekend."
Lyons believes the bye weekend from conference play comes at a good time for SIUE.
"It's all in where you're at in the season," Lyons said. "For us, I think it does come at a good time to maybe refresh before the final push," Lyons said. "After this weekend in the league standings we should have a pretty good feel for what we need to do over the last three weekends."
SIUE has adjusted its weekend rotation to include freshman right-hander Collin Baumgartner, who will make his first weekend start. Baumgartner will start Friday's opener.
"It's time," Lyons said. "He is a young man who we think is going to be part of our weekend rotation in the future. He needs to gain that experience. Now is the time. He has proven he is ready to tackle that task."
"It is a great facility and a great environment to play in," Lyons said. "It should be a good three games for us to get things on track and just start to play better baseball."
Probable Pitching Matchups:
Game 1 – SIUE RHP Collin Baumgartner (0-1) vs. Samford RHP Cody Shelton (2-2)
Game 2 – SIUE RHP Kenny Serwa (2-4) vs. Samford LHP Samuel Strickland (6-1)
Game 3 – SIUE LHP David Llorens (0-3) vs. Samford TBA