SIUE (14-32, 5-19) at
Eastern Illinois (18-29, 7-17)
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball has just six Ohio Valley Conference games remaining beginning with a three-game series with Eastern Illinois on the road in Charleston, Illinois.
The teams will open the series with a 3 p.m. game Friday and play games at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
The Cougars are 14-32 overall. At 5-19 in OVC play, the Cougars are still alive for a spot in the OVC Tournament, which begins May 23 in Oxford, Alabama.
"It's an important weekend for those teams trying to position themselves to get into the conference tournament," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "We need to play well to give ourselves an opportunity."
Eastern Illinois is 7-17 in league play and also is trying to secure its place in the tournament. Eastern Illinois is 10-35 overall.
"Both teams will be fighting for those last spots to get into the tournament," Lyons said. "There should be a lot of energy and emotion to the series. It should be fun."
The Cougars hold the edge in the all-time series, 41-34. Since SIUE moved to Division I in 2009, the Cougars are 14-10 in the series, but 0-6 in Charleston in that time.
Senior Jared McCunn leads the team at the plate with a .316 batting average. McCunn has been especially strong recently, hitting .588 (10-17) over his last five games. He has two home runs and six RBIs in that time.
"Jared McCunn has been swinging the bat extremely well," Lyons said. "The at-bats have been better of late. We just need to string those at-bats together and get some hits in the clutch."
Fellow senior Mario Tursi picked up a key two-out, two-run hit Wednesday in SIUE's loss at Bradley. His single tied the game in the eighth for the Cougars.
"Mario came up with a big two-RBI at-bat last night," Lyons said. "Maybe that will kickstart him a little bit. He's a guy that helps us defensively for sure."