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Cougars Upend Eastern Kentucky for Sunday Win

Tyler Hutchinson
Tyler Hutchinson

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball avoided a sweep at the hands of Eastern Kentucky, taking the finale of a three-game series 5-2 from the Colonels.

The Cougar improved to 5-7 in the Ohio Valley Conference with the win and 9-16 overall. EKU fell to 16-13 overall and 5-4 in OVC play.

"We talk about how important Sunday wins are and at home to salvage a win in the series is huge," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "The win today keeps us in the middle of the pack (in the OVC)."

Each team scored a run in the first and again in the third inning for a 2-2 score. Brock Weimer collected an RBI in the first inning and Eric Giltz singled to tie the score in the third.  

The Colonels got RBIs from Ryland Kerr in the first and Charles Ludwick in the third. SIUE starter Brian Chandler gave up both runs and left in the third with the bases loaded and one out. Tyler Hutchinson relieved him and struck out the next two hitters.

"The key to the game today was Tyler Hutchinson," Lyons said. "Tyler came in, calmed the waters and set the tone for the rest of the bullpen to carry us the rest of the way through the game."

The Cougars took the lead for good with a three-run fourth inning to chase EKU starter Brennan Kelly. Jordan Ross drove home two with a single and Dustin Woodcock added an RBI hit in the inning.

"The guys did a nice job and made an adjustment to the type of arm we were facing," Lyons said. "We changed our approach and were able to string a couple of hits together."

Hutchinson settled in to throw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless ball. He struck out four. Kerr was the only EKU base runner to reach, when he walked in the fourth, but was thrown out trying to steal second base.

Hutchinson earned the win to move to 1-1 this year. Kelly (2-3) took the loss for Eastern Kentucky.

Adam Drewry, Chris Robinson and Braydon Bone all threw a perfect inning of relief for SIUE. Bone worked the ninth to earn his fourth save of the year.

Eastern Kentucky's bullpen of Brennan Labarbera and Aaron Ochsenbein combined for 4 1/3 innings of scoreless, hitless relief. The Cougar's Raul Elguezabal was the only batter to reach when he walked in the eighth after a 14-pitch plate appearance.

"The game changed from what looked like an offensive game to a tighter matchup," Lyons said. "Both bullpens answered the bell and fortunately we had the lead when the bullpens took over."

Giltz finished 3-4 with an RBI to lead SIUE at the plate. Woodcock was 2-4 and extended a hitting streak to 10 games.

SIUE goes to Bradley for a midweek game Wednesday before hitting the road to continue OVC play next weekend at Morehead State.

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