CHARLESTON, Ill. – A pair of home runs and 11 total hits weren't enough Saturday as Eastern Illinois defeated SIUE baseball 7-6 in the second game of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series.
The loss drops SIUE to 14-34 overall and 5-21 in OVC play. The Cougars are officially eliminated from contention for the OVC tournament with the loss. Eastern Illinois moved to 20-29 overall and 9-17 in league play.
Peyton Cordova-Smith's leadoff home run in the fourth gave SIUE a 1-0 lead.
"We swung the bats a little more aggressively today," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "Peyton got us started with the solo home run."
EIU responded with a run in the bottom half to tie the score.
Jared McCunn and Brock Weimer singled to start the sixth inning. Brock Hammit came up with one out a drilled his sixth home run of the year to left to give the Cougars a 4-1 advantage, but Eastern responded again.
The Panthers used five hits to score four times against Cougar starter Kenny Serwa. Pinch-hitting Hunter Beetley delivered the biggest blow, a three-run home run, to put Eastern Illinois up 5-4.
"We had a nice little cushion with the three-run home run by Brock Hammit, but we turned around and gave it right back with the four-run inning," Lyons said. "You'd love to have the shutdown inning, if you will, where you put up a zero right after you score. We were just unable to get that done today."
Serwa (3-6) worked 5 2/3 innings. He allowed five runs on nine hits. He walked three and struck out one.
"He got into some trouble there in the sixth inning," Lyons said of his starer. "He was going along ok, but the home run hurt."
Jimmy Govern and Jimmy Huber drove home runs for EIU in the seventh to extend the lead to 7-4 before Aaron Goecks delivered a one-out, two-run hit in the eighth to make it 7-6.
Hammit finished 1 for 4 with the three RBIs and a two runs. McCunn finished the day 3 for 5 with a run. Weimer was 2 for 3 with two runs. Goeck was 1 for 4 with two RBIs.
Govern was one of four players to have two hits for the Panthers, who finished with 11 hits.
EIU starter Alex Stevenson (3-7) allowed four runs over six innings to earn the win.
The series finale is set for Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.