EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE right-hander Kenny Serwa fired his second career complete game Saturday, leading SIUE to a 3-1 win over Eastern Illinois in the second game of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Simmons Baseball Complex.
With the win, the Cougars improved to 9-14 in OVC play and 17-27 overall. Eastern Illinois fell to 12-14 in the OVC and 22-24 overall.
Serwa struck out a season-high seven hitters while limiting the Panthers to the run on eight hits.
"He was phenomenal," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "It was really a gutsy performance. Outside of the second inning he pitched extremely well and he wasn't going to give the ball up."
The complete game is the first this season for the Cougars.
"He wanted to finish this one," Lyons said. "It was a much needed win and you couldn't ask for more out of him. He did a nice job commanding the fastball and the slider."
EIU went on top with two hits in the second inning, before the Cougars answered. SIUE scored twice in third inning when Peyton Cordova-Smith singled through the middle with the bases loaded to drive in two.
"We got the big hit out of Peyton," Lyons said. "Again, we needed it."
The Cougars picked up an insurance run in the fifth when Brendan Ryan scored on a passed ball.
"The guys did a great job," Lyons said of his team. "I am proud of the way they bounced back. They were locked in from the minute they walked into the ballpark this morning."
EIU starter Spenser Dexter (3-3) took the loss, allowing the two runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Blake Malatestinic worked the final 5 2/3 innings for the Panthers, allowing just a single run on six SIUE hits.
The finale of the set is slated for 1 p.m. Sunday.
"Both games have been close and have come down to the last inning and I expect nothing different tomorrow," Lyons added.