EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE swept a doubleheader from Valparaiso Sunday winning 4-3 and 16-6, in eight innings, Saturday at Simmons Baseball Complex.
After dropping the opener, the Cougars won the nonconference series from the Crusaders with the Saturday sweep. SIUE has won six of its last seven games and improved to 15-22 overall, Valparaiso fell to 8-26. The Cougars scored the win in game two by virtue of the 10-run rule.
"After the way we played last night, we came out and played a whole lot better today," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "It was two different games."
Collin Baumgartner pitched seven strong innings in game one, allowing a run on four hits. He struck out five. The seven-inning outing is a career-long for Baumgartner.
"Baum was probably as sharp and efficient as he has been in a while," Lyons added. "We're getting to where we have about a month in the season. Guys have to start hitting their stride. Collin showed that today and looked pretty sharp."
The Cougars took a 2-0 lead on a Brock Weimer two-run home run in the first inning. The homer was the 32nd of his career moving him to within one of tying Devin Caldwell's career record. Eric Giltz tripled to drive home a run in the fifth to put the Cougars up 3-1.
"We led throughout and then we give up a couple of runs in the eighth and the guys came right back and answered to get up 4-3," Lyons said. "I am proud of the ability to be resilient and bounce back."
Milam (1-2) earned the win, while Braydon Bone pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.
In game two, the Cougars again took a first-inning lead courtesy of Brock Weimer. Brendan Ryan led off the inning with a double and Weimer drilled a two-out double to the wall in left center to score Ryan to make it 1-0.
Blake Billinger homered in the second to tie the score for Valpo, but SIUE answered. Justin Perkins led off the bottom of the inning with a home run to put SIUE on top 2-1.
The Cougars took control in the third inning, scoring six times on just two hits to lead 8-1. Valpo starter Zach Fricke walked three and hit two batters in the inning. Valparaiso trimmed the lead to 8-3 when Dustin Woodcock struck for a three-run home run in the fifth to extend SIUE's lead to 11-3.
"Even though we were ahead, the big hit was the Woodcock three-run home run," Lyons said. "He had had a tough weekend leading up to that at-bat. That one really opened it up. They had shortened the gap."
SIUE scored twice in the sixth to lead 13-3. The Crusaders extended the game in the seventh when Billinger hit his second homer of the game, a three-run shot to make it 13-6. The Cougars scored a run in the bottom of the seventh and then two more in the eighth to go up 16-6, forcing the end of the game.
The 16 runs are a season high for the Cougars, who finished with 13 hits. Woodcock finished 2-4. Peyton Cordova-Smith was 3-4. Perkins was 2-3 for game two with the homer and three RBIs. Weimer was 1-4 with the RBI.
"Up and down the lineup guys were putting up some good at-bats," Lyons said. "Brock Weimer barreled some balls up. Just Perkins had another good weekend."
The Cougars return to the road for a Tuesday game at Western Illinois before a weekend series at Austin Peay.