Golden Eagles felled twice by SIUE Cougars Saturday

Golden Eagles felled twice by SIUE Cougars Saturday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – SIU Edwardsville rallied from a five-run deficit in the eighth inning and grabbed an 11-8 victory in 11 innings Saturday over Tennessee Tech in Bush Stadium in the first game of a doubleheader.

The Cougars (7-16) swept the doubleheader by posting a 12-4 win in the second game. Tech’s record slipped to 11-13 overall with a game looming Tuesday night at Tennessee.

Designated hitter Joel Graetting delivered a bases loaded, three-run double in off reliever A.J. Kirby-Jones in the 11th to provide the difference in the opening contest. The Cougars had loaded the bases on a single by James Vasquez and two walks to set the stage for Graetting’s heroics.

Tech grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Kirby-Jones sent the first pitch he faced over the left field fence for his 14th home run of the season.

Tech scored three in the fourth on RBI singles by Frankie Beech and Chad Oberacker, and a double by Tate McMillan that made it 4-0. SIUE reliever Josh Hoguet prevented further damage in the inning, getting a grounder to leave the bases full of Golden Eagles.

 The Cougars finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth after going scoreless the first 13 innings in the series. Adam Eggemeyer knocked a two-run home run off starter Lee Henry to cut the lead in half, scoring Matt Highland ahead of him.

Tech got those two runs back in the bottom of the fifth on two hits and an error. Chad Hayes got the first RBI on a groundout and Chad Oberacker’s single brought in the second run.

After Highland’s solo home run in the seventh made it 6-3, Tech plated two more in the frame to build its margin back to 8-3. Frankie Beech tripled and scored on a balk for the first run, and a triple by Seth Edwards later in the inning sent home McMillan, who had reached on an error.

Vasquez opened the Cougar eighth with a home run. A walk, stolen base and double by Graetting scored the second run. Highland followed with an RBI double and Brett Keeler added a two-run single to tie the game.

Brian Lorenz (2-1), the fourth of five pitchers used by SIUE, got credit for the win, throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. The loss went to Kirby-Jones (0-2), the fifth pitcher in the contest for the Golden Eagles.

Highland finished the contest 4-for-5 for the Cougars who had 13 hits in the game. Graettting had three hits and four RBI. Tech had 15 hits in the game, led by Oberacker’s 3-for-7.

SIUE jumped ahead in the second game, scoring once in the second on a leadoff home run by Zach Hawkins, and two more in the third for a 3-0 lead. Eggemeyer walked, stole second and scored on a triple by Vasquez, who trotted home on a balk.

Tech got its first run in the bottom of the third as Oberacker was hit by an inside pitch, stole second and scored on a single by Ben Burgess.

The Cougars added four more in the fourth to push their lead to 7-1. With one out, Eggemeyer homered to right field to start the rally. Mitch Matecki and Hawkins each delivered RBI singles, and the final run came home on a groundout.

The Golden Eagles got two runs in the bottom of the fourth, slicing into the lead to make it 7-3. Zephan Guyear’s third home run of the year cleared the left field fence, and McMillan singled to score Beech.

Brooks’ RBI single scored Hawkins in the sixth for an 8-3 lead, and in the seventh it went to 9-3 when Eggermeyer singled and worked his way around the bases on a stolen base, groundout and error.

In the eighth, Hopkins doubled home Graetting and Eggemeyer singled to score Hopkins and the SIUE lead grew to 11-3. Once again, Graetting was in on the scoring when SUIE added one run in the ninth. He walked with one out and raced around to score on a double by Brooks.

Tech tacked on a run in the ninth as Austin Wulf hit an RBI single, following an error and a double by Burgess.

The Cougars finished with 18 hits, led by Eggemeyer’s 4-for-5 effort and three hits each from Vasquez,  Hopkins and Brooks. Burgess, hitting in the cleanup spot, had four of Tech’s 11 hits.

Malin worked the first 5 1/3 innings for SIUE to earn the win, scattering eight hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.

Starter Tristan Archer took the loss for the Golden Eagles. He yielded five runs on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings. The Cougars scored on all four Tech pitchers in the game.