EDWARDSVILLE – Eastern Illinois scored a run in the top of the 10th inning Friday and held on for a 4-3 win over SIUE in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Simmons Baseball Complex.

The Cougars dropped to 19-18 overall and 9-10 in OVC play. Eastern Illinois improved to 20-19 overall and 10-12 in the OVC.

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Pinch runner Logan Eickhoff scored the eventual game winner from second base on a strikeout and a wild pitch, which hit home plate and kicked high in the air.

"It wasn't a great game for us," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "But it was a good baseball game. It was an unfortunate bounce that cost us there in the end."

SIUE starter Noah Matheny worked seven innings, the second longest outing of his season. He allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits. He struck out three.

The Panther scored single runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 3-0 lead.

"Noah gave us a quality start," Lyons said. "He gutted and grinded his way through seven innings."

EIU starter held SIUE without a hit until two single in the fifth inning. In the sixth, the Cougars used four hits and two walks to score three two-out runs. Brady Bunten and Avery Owusu-Asiedu each drove home runs with hits. Steven Pattan picked up an RBI on a bases loaded walk.

"It took us a while to get things going," Lyons said of his offense. "We had to make some adjustments to our approach at the plate. We finally got something going in the fifth and then broke through and scored some runs in the sixth inning."

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The Cougars left the bases loaded in the sixth and then again in the seventh. SIUE left 10 on base for the game.

"We had bases loaded opportunities a couple of times, but we just couldn't cash in with the big hit," Lyons said.

Rob Parks (1-1) suffered the loss, despite pitching well in relief. He worked 2 1/3 innings striking out four. He allowed a leadoff single in the 10th, which was the eventual winning run.

"Rob Parks did what we needed him to do," Lyons said. "He put up zeroes."

EIU reliever Alex Stevenson 4 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.

"I felt like we were in a really good spot," Lyons added. "The guys in the dugout had the confidence coming in late in the game that we'd be able to rally."

Owusu-Asiedu was 2-5 with the RBI to lead SIUE at the plate.

Tarron Lawson had three hits and an RBI for Eastern Illinois.

SIUE and Eastern Illinois will finish the series with a doubleheader Saturday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.

"The guys will come out ready to go tomorrow and it will be a big day for us," Lyons said.

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