SIUE sweeps Eastern in Baseball

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Published on March 11 2013 11:52 am
Last Updated on March 11 2013 11:52 am
Written by Millie Lange

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – The Panther baseball team was swept by SIUE in Ohio Valley Conference action Saturday afternoon at the Simmons Baseball Complex. EIU dropped game one of the doubleheader, 7-5, before falling, 6-2, in game two.

The Cougars won the series opener Friday, March 8 by a score of 6-0. SIUE improves to 5-7 overall and 3-0 in OVC action. EIU falls to 3-11 on the year and 0-3 in conference play.

“We made too many mistakes this weekend,” said Eastern Illinois head coach Jim Schmitz. “We continue to struggle hitting with runners on base. It’s very early in conference play, but we must play better in all phases of the game moving forward.”

Game 1: SIUE 7, EIU 5

The Panthers took a 4-3 advantage into the bottom of the seventh inning before the Cougars scored three runs on three hits to regain the lead, 6-4. Nathan Sopena hit an RBI single to left field in the following inning to get the Panthers within one (6-5), but Ryan Mansfield hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the frame to give SIUE the two-run advantage (7-5).

SIUE led 1-0 heading into the fourth inning before Demetre Taylor hit a two-RBI single, giving the Panthers a 2-1 advantage.

Taylor finished the contest going 2-for-4 with two RBI while Sopena and Caleb Howell both added two hits. Howell also scored a run and had an RBI.

Scott Houdek (0-1) took the loss for EIU, surrendering two hits and two runs without retiring any batters. Joe Greenfield made the start and allowed seven hits and four runs with two strikeouts in 6.1 innings of work.

Joel Greatting led the Cougars at the plate as the senior infielder went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI. Jake Stauffenberg (2-0) earned the win for SIUE while Tony Schaeffer posted his third save of the year.

Both teams posted 10 hits on the day and committed one error. SIUE stranded three more runners on base (12-9) than EIU.

Luke Bushur, a Teutopolis graduate, pitched 0.2 innings for EIU allowing two walks and striking out one.

Game 2: SIUE 6, EIU 2

Brant Valach hit a two-out RBI single to centerfield in the first inning to give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead. SIUE scored six unanswered runs over the next six innings, making the score 6-1.

Treysen Vavra hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh to get the Panthers within four (6-2), but EIU failed to record another hit for the duration of the contest. Five Panthers had a hit in the game with Vavra and Nick Priessman scoring the only two runs.

SIUE posted four more hits (9-5) than EIU and left six more runners on base (12-6). EIU also committed three more errors (3-0).

Andrew Grahn, a North Clay graduate, (0-2) took the loss for EIU, allowing five hits and five runs (two earned) in 4.1 innings of action. P.J. Schuster (1-3) posted the win for SIUE as freshman pitcher recorded six strikeouts while only surrendering two runs in 6.1 innings of work. Stewardson-Strasburg graduate Jaden Widdersheim pitched 0.2 allowing one hit and one strikeout.

Skyler Geissinger went 3-for-4 with two RBI to pace the Cougar offense while Greatting scored two runs.

The Panthers return to action Tuesday at Evansville.