HAMMOND, La. – Southeastern Louisiana scored six runs in the fourth inning Friday and went on to an 11-2 win over SIUE in the 2018 baseball season opener at Alumni Field.
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The Cougars grabbed a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run single by senior Mario Tursi in the fourth inning. Aaron Goecks and Jared McCunn scored on the hit. Goecks reached on a fielder's choice and McCunn singled earlier in the inning.
Southeastern Louisiana took the lead for good with the six-run fourth. The Lions used four hits and three SIUE errors in the inning to push across the six runs.
"We didn't throw enough strikes and we didn't play good enough defense," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "That's not a good combination."
Nelson Martz started for the Cougars and tossed 3.2 innings. He allowed five runs on two hits. He stuck out six, but walked four. He took the loss.
"Nellie's stuff was ok," Lyons said. "He didn't command the strike zone. He worked a lot of deep counts and his pitches piled up."
The Lions made it 9-2 with three runs in the fifth inning thanks to two hits and another pair of errors.
Mike Miller allowed four runs in just 2/3 of an inning in relief for SIUE.
"It wasn't a matter of fielding the baseball, it was more just throwing it around," Lyons said. "It was a poorly played fourth and fifth innings."
Tyler Hutchinson worked 1.2 scoreless innings out of the Cougars' bullpen. He allowed a hit, struck out three and didn't walk a hitter.
"He filled up the strike zone," Lyons said of Hutchinson. "He let the defense play behind him. He settled the game down at that point."
Southeastern added single runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the final margin.
Both teams finished with 10 hits.
"We swung the bats alright," Lyons said. "We had opportunities with guys on later in the game and we couldn't get the hits."
The Cougars left nine men on base for the game.
Junior transfers Bret Fehr and Peyton Cordova-Smith each picked up two hits.
"Bret Fehr and Peyton Cordova-Smith both had some good at-bats," Lyons said.
Southeastern right fielder Mike Taylor had three hits and drove in four runs for the Lions. Josh Green started on the mound for Southeastern Louisiana and allowed two runs over five innings. He struck out three and earned the win.
The Cougars and Lions will continue the series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday. Brock Fulkerson is slated to start on the mound for SIUE.
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