EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Jared McCunn paced a 13-hit attack Sunday as SIUE baseball avoided a sweep with a 12-7 win over Austin Peay at Simmons Baseball Complex.
The Cougars moved to 14-31 overall and 5-19 in the Ohio Valley Conference. Austin Peay dropped to 28-20 overall and 17-10 in the OVC.
"It feels good to salvage the win on Sunday," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "We had a real collective effort on the mound."
McCunn was 4 for 4 with a pair of home runs, a double, a walk and five RBIs to lead the Cougars at the plate.
"Jared McCunn really swung the bat well today and sparked the offense," Lyons said. "Once the ball got rolling a little bit there was a lot of confident swings today."
The middle of SIUE's order (McCunn, Brock Weimer and Peyton Cordova Smith) combined for eight hits and 10 RBIs.
After going down 1-0 in the first inning, Cordova-Smith's two-run hit in the bottom of the inning gave SIUE a lead it would never relinquish.
"That was huge from Peyton," Lyons added. "We had the opportunity and didn't get the run. He followed up with the hit and that really gave our guys a lot of confidence. The middle of the order guys really came through today."
Cordova-Smith was 2 for 4. Weimer was 2 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs.
Following the two-run first inning, SIUE scored single runs in the second and third and four runs in the fourth inning to lead 8-2 after four.
Brandon Vial (2-3) started for APSU and allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings.
The Cougars opened the sixth inning with five consecutive hits, including back-to-back homers from McCunn and Weimer.
On the mound, senior Mason McReaken made his first career start for SIUE. He worked four innings, allowing two runs on three hits. He struck out seven hitters, one shy of his career high. Ryan Byrd worked an inning-plus allowing two runs and striking out two. Chris Robinson worked the final four innings. He allowed three runs.
"We didn't know how much we would get out of him," Lyons admitted. "We were thinking if we could squeeze three out of him it would be great. He felt really good and strong and we were able to get four.
"Byrd got us the inning and then we knew we were going right to Robbie (Robinson) and see how long he could go. A couple of balls got up in the wind, and they got three in the seventh. But he closed the door for us."
Kyle Wilson was 2 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs to lead Austin Peay.
SIUE goes on the road for four straight games beginning with a Wednesday matchup and Bradley.
"We're out of school so guys can just focus on baseball," Lyons said. "Wednesday night in Peoria will be a fun trip for me to go back and see those guys."
SIUE plays a weekend series on the road at Eastern Illinois.
"We talked about how big these series are," Lyons said. "We have to continue to play well and see what happens."