EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE scored three times in the bottom of the first inning Sunday and held on for a 3-2 win to earn the Ohio Valley Conference series win over the Redhawks.
The Cougars improved to 3-3 in OVC play and 6-10 overall. SEMO fell to 11-9 overall and 2-4 in the OVC.
"This was a really tight, hard-fought win today," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "We held on. That's a really big win for us."
The Redhawks threatened right off the bat. SIUE starter Cameron Prayer loaded the bases with one out in the first inning on three walks. Prayer left with an injury and was replaced by Ryan Byrd who retired the next two hitters to keep SEMO off the board.
Jack Rigoni, Eric Giltz and Dustin Woodcock opened the bottom of the first inning with consecutive singles to load the bases for SIUE. Raul Elguezabal hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in right to bring in Rigoni and Justin Perkins followed a with a two-run double to left field to put the Cougars up 3-0.
The Redhawks score their only two runs in the sixth with a pair of hits. Hunter Southerland and Garrett Stephens picked up RBIs in the inning.
Byrd allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings of relief. He struck out two and improved to 1-1 with the win.
"Ryan Byrd did a great job," Lyons said. "He held on, giving us 5 2/3. He gave us the opportunity to win."
SIUE outhit Southeast Missouri 8-6.
"Our guys did a really good job, approach-wise, at the plate," Lyons added. "(SEMO) had a bunch of lefties and our guys were working the other way. That was a good thing to see."
SEMO starter Daniel Bergtholdt fell to 2-2 with the loss. He allowed the three runs on six hits over three innings.
"The team that competed the longest and the hardest today was probably going to be the one to come out on top," Lyons said. "Our guys kept after it for all 27 outs."