SIUE (13-29, 4-17) vs.
Austin Peay (26-19, 15-9)
Simmons Baseball Complex
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – After a three-game weekend sweep and a week off for finals, SIUE baseball is back on the field Friday for a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series with Austin Peay.
The series opens with a 6 p.m. game Friday and includes 1 p.m. starts Saturday and Sunday at Simmons Baseball Complex.
"We're coming off a strong weekend down at Samford, and we have had a good week of practice," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "Guys are a little looser with school being done and are excited for the weekend series with Austin Peay."
The Cougars are 13-29 overall. The sweep of the Bulldogs was SIUE's first series sweep of the year, and the three-game losing streak is the longest of the season for the Cougars.
"The keys for our guys right now are bringing energy to the ballpark and enjoying the games," Lyons said. "We want to play a good quality brand of baseball and handle our business."
The Governors are 26-19 overall and 15-9 in OVC play. Austin Peay has assured itself a spot in the OVC Championship.
Right-handers Collin Baumgartner (0-1) and Kenny Serwa (3-4) will start Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both were involved in shutouts last weekend. Baumgartner threw six shutout innings Friday, while Serwa tossed the Cougars' first complete game shutout in four seasons.
"Pitching and defense, that's the name of the game," Lyons said. "The quality of the starts we got last weekend out of Collin and Kenny are the kind of starts you need to win games. We are going to need those kind of efforts throughout the remainder of the year to give ourselves a chance to claw and get back into this thing."
Serwa earned OVC Pitcher of the Week honors Monday.
While the Cougars didn't have a prolific weekend at the plate, Lyons added the offense did what it needed to do.
"The ability to manufacture some runs and do some situational things were big for us last weekend," he said. "It took the pressure off, and we were able to let it go and get some home runs late. Execution is key whether its game one of the season or where we're at now."
Including the series with Austin Peay, SIUE has three OVC series remaining. At 4-17 in league play, the Cougars remain just three games back of the final spot in the OVC Tournament.
"School is out and the focus is just playing baseball, and the guys are bringing a good energy to the field," Lyons said. "We need to enjoy one another, support each other and try to put a good weekend of baseball together."