CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE dropped the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series 6-1 at Austin Peay Friday night.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Cougars, who have won seven of their last nine. SIUE fell to 8-11 in OVC play and 16-23 overall. Austin Peay moved to 14-8 in OVC play and 22-18 overall.
Austin Peay broke a scoreless tie in the fifth scratching out a run on three hits against SIUE starter Collin Baumgartner. Baumgartner worked six complete, allowing only the run on five hits. He struck out seven, but fell to 1-5 with the loss.
"This was a really good game," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "Collin did a really nice job and he pitched well enough to give us the opportunity to win."
The Governors' Garrett Kueber connected for a solo home run against SIUE reliever Chris Robinson in the seventh to put APSU up 2-0. Austin Peay then took advantage of two walks and a hitter batter to score four times in the eight to lead 6-0. David Martinez and Kueber each had two-out, two-run hits.
Robinson, uncharacteristically, allowed five runs on three hits and two walks in two innings.
"It was out of the norm for him," Lyons said. "He had the left-hander up (Garrett Spain) with two runners on. We felt like that was the guy Chris could get. We were unable to finish him off. I don't know if that at-bat took it out of him."
The Cougars managed a run on three hits in the ninth. Raul Elguezabal, started the inning with a hit. Jordan Ross and Brendan Ryan each picked up two-out hits to load the bases. Elguezabal scored on a wild pitch.
"The guys in the last inning did a nice job of just keeping it going," Lyons said. "Really we were one at-bat away from getting the heart of our order up with bases loaded or runners in scoring position."
SIUE finished with eight hits, but stranded 10 men on base. Cougars hitters struck out 14 times during the game.
"We had some opportunities offensively," Lyons added "We had a tough go at it early on. We had some runners in scoring position and just couldn't get the big hit. They (Austin Peay) made the pitch when they needed to.
"Late in the game we didn't make the pitch when we needed to," Lyons continued. "They were able to get some hits and separate themselves."
Game two of the series is Saturday at 1 p.m. Kenny Serwa starts for SIUE.
"Now we come back tomorrow knowing we're going to be facing another good arm," Lyons said. "We have Kenny on the mound and we play with a lot of confidence behind him."