EDWARDSVILLE – SIUE and Saint Louis combined for nine home runs Tuesday in a windy, warm home opener for the baseball Cougars. In the end, the Billikens edged the Cougars 13-8 at Roy E. Lee Field.

The Cougars fell to 1-7. Saint Louis remained unbeaten at 8-0. The Billikens scored in each of the first three innings, including a six-run second inning, to build an 8-0 lead. Saint Louis hit four home runs in the first three innings and picked up six walks from Cougar pitchers."We're not learning from some of our mistakes on the mound," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "SLU is off to a great start offensively and they just made us pay. They took complete advantage of free bases and some home runs."SIUE scored five times in the third thanks to a three-run home run from Ryan Niedzwiedz and RBI-hits from Ethan Willoughby and Sean Kang.
Saint Louis stretched the lead out to 13-5 with three runs in the fifth inning and two in the eighth. SIUE tacked on three more in the bottom of the ninth inning, including two on an inside-the-park home run by Nicholas Ibrahim. Ibrahim lifted a fly ball into right-center field, where neither outfielder was able to pick up the flight of the ball, which got down and went to the wall, scoring Willoughby and allowing Ibrahim to circle the bases.
Chase Bloomer picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly for the final score.
"It was good to see our guys continue to fight," Lyons said. "We need to clean some stuff up and play a better brand of baseball and the true identity of this team will show up."SIUE starter Alex Rodriguez (0-2) allowed seven runs in 1.2 innings and suffered the loss.Niedzwiedz, Willoughby, Kang and Gage Franck had two hits apiece for the Cougars.SIUE remains home to open a four-game series with South Dakota State Friday.

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