EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE and Eastern Kentucky combined for 21 runs, 21 hits and eight home runs Friday with the Colonels coming out on top of the Cougars 12-9 in the opener of an Ohio Valley Conference series at Simmons Baseball Complex.
SIUE fell to 4-6 in OVC play and 8-15 overall. EKU is 4-3 in the OVC and 15-12 overall.
EKU took a 4-0 lead in the first with four unearned runs against starter Collin Baumgartner. An error and a hit batter hurt the Cougars. EKU designated hitter Charles Ludwick capped off the inning with a three-run home run.
Brock Weimer got the Cougars on the board in the bottom of the inning with an RBI-double. SIUE charged in front in the second inning on a pair of home runs. Garrett Carmichael led off the inning with a home run before SIUE loaded the bases with one out. Weimer then launched his third career grand slam to left to put SIUE up 6-4.
"It was a good day to hit early on," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "It was warm and both teams swung the bat really well."
EKU pulled within one at 6-5 with a run in the fourth, before the Cougars got another two home runs in the bottom of the inning. Dustin Woodcock and Weimer went back-to-back to make it 8-5 SIUE.
Weimer was 3-5 with the two homers and six RBIs. It was Weimer's fifth career two-homer game and the fourth time in his career he has had six RBIs in a game.
The Colonels scored twice in the fifth inning, without a hit. Two walks and a hit batter by Baumgartner loaded the bases. Ludwick then walked with the bases loaded and Daniel Harris followed with a sacrifice fly to trim the lead to 8-7.
"They all hurt us today," Lyons added. "Some days you get away with those mistakes and they don't show up so big. Today each and every one of those 'freebies' showed up and hurt us."
Ludwick led EKU at the plate. He was 2-4 with four RBIs.
The Colonels got home runs from Will Johnson, Nick Howie and A.J. Lewis (a two-run shot) to pull ahead for good at 11-8 in the sixth inning.
"It's disappointing when you feel like you swing the bats well and you come up short the way we did," Lyons said.
Tyler Hutchinson took the loss in relief for SIUE. He allowed three runs on three hits and is 0-1.
"We have been here before, with a loss in game one," Lyons said. "We'll look for a good outing out of David (Llorens) tomorrow and even things up."