Mario Tursi

EDWARDSVILLEIllinois State used a six-run third inning to defeat SIUE 9-3 Tuesday in nonconference baseball at Simmons Baseball Complex.

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The Cougars dropped to 7-26, while the Redbirds improved to 10-25.

SIUE opened the scoring, breaking out on top with a run on three hits in the top of the first inning. Logan Andersen led off the game with a single and scored when Dustin Woodcock grounded into a fielder's choice. ISU starter Jeffrey Barton struck out the next two hitters and SIUE stranded the bases loaded.

"In the first inning we had a great approach one through three," SIUE Coach Danny Jackson said. "We got a little tight with bases loaded and only came away with one."

The Cougars managed two more hits in the second inning, but left both runners on base.

Andersen's first-inning hit extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He finished 2 for 3 with two walks.  

Illinois State scored six runs in the fifth thanks to five hits, including a pair of home runs. Right fielder Blake Molitor hit a two-run home run against SIUE starter Michael Shereyk and first baseman Derek Parola connected on a three-run shot, which came off reliever Brendan Miller.

Shereyk (0-1) allowed four runs in 2.2 innings. He struck out one.

The Redbirds extended the lead to 9-1 with a single run in the fifth inning and two more in the eighth inning. Designated hitter Jean Ramirez opened the eighth inning with a home run. Shortstop Owen Miller added an RBI double in the inning.

Miller led the Redbirds at the plate, finishing 4 for 5. Parola was 3 for 5.

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Meanwhile, the Cougars collected just two more hits until the eighth inning, when they scored twice on three hits. Austin Verschoore and Mario Tursi each had RBI singles in the eighth.

"From the second inning until the eighth inning we completely got away from our approach –we only hit one ball up the middle," Jackson said. "We went back to hitting the ball the other way and up the middle in the eighth inning and we scored two.

"We know the approach we need to take and we know what happens when we get away from it," Jackson continued. "Sometimes we let the situation dictate our approach and we need to do a better job of not doing that."

Verschoore finished 1 for 4 with the RBI. Tursi was 2 for 4.

"It was nice to get Austin Verschoore in there tonight," Jackson said. "He took a couple of good at-bats. Mario took a couple of great at-bats and he is a defensive whiz so at-bats that he take like that are an added bonus."

Jackson Layton was 2 for 3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.

"Jackson Layton took great at-bats all night," Jackson said. "He's been swinging the bat really well."

The Cougars used four relievers. D.J. Hickey followed Miller into the game and did not allow a run in 1.2 innings. Zach Little tossed 1.2 innings giving up a pair of runs and picking up his first strikeout. Travis Felax finished the game pitching the last 1.1 innings without allowing a run. He picked up his first strikeout of the year.

"We got some guys some work," Jackson added. "We wanted them to get some work here in the midweek to get them built up for the weekend. You can find positives in any situation and in any game and there were positives to take out of the game tonight."

SIUE will play the second of five home games this week when it plays host to Western Illinois Wednesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

"I think it's great. You get to play the next day or in a couple of days and you don't have to wait a week, because you get another shot to be the hero," Jackson said. "We're going to come out excited, ready, energetic and enthusiastic and we're going to play to win a game."

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