EDWARDSVILLE – SIUE baseball dropped a 7-1 decision to SIU Carbondale Tuesday at Simmons Baseball Complex.

SIUE fell to 2-11. SIUC improved to 7-5.

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A five-run third inning was the big difference in the contest. The Salukis used three hits and four walks from SIUE starter Matthew Gist to take a 5-0 lead.

Gist (0-1) did not record an out in the inning. He allowed four runs in two innings. He struck out two and walked five.

"The story of the game was the free bases," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "It is something that we have struggled with this year."

In total, SIUE hitters walked ten Saluki batters and hit one.

A hit batter and walk in the fifth allowed the Salukis to take a 6-0 lead before SIUE's only run.

Chase Bloomer led off the sixth with his first home run of the year into right to cut the lead to 6-1.

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Bloomer and Ethan Willoughby were each 1-4. Lucas Spence paced the Cougars offense from the leadoff spot, where he was 3-3 with a double and a walk.

"There were a couple of good individual performances like Lucas Spence on base four times," Lyons added. "It was good to see Chase Bloomer put a really good swing on his home run."

A walk, a stolen base and a hit gave SIUC the 7-1 lead in the eighth inning.

Six Cougar pitchers threw in the game following Gist. Alex Rodriguez threw two scoreless innings. Zeus Ponder, Dimitri Ivetic and Liam McKillop finished out the game.

"Alex Rodriguez had been struggling a little bit for us and he gave us two clean innings," Lyons said. "Zeus Ponder pitched well out of the pen as did Liam McKillop. The guys that we are going to need as we get going in the season showed some bright spots today."

Jordan Bach had two hits and two RBIs for the Salukis.

SIUC starter Alec Nigut allowed just the run over 5.2 innings. He struck out three.

SIUE continues its longest home stand of the season when Omaha comes to Roy E. Lee Field for a three-game series beginning Friday.

"We're trying to play some better baseball," Lyons said. "Guys will be ready to go, we just need to clean it up."

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