EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – A five-run fourth inning vaulted SIUE to an 8-5 win over Murray State in game one of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Simmons Baseball Complex.
The Cougars improved to 4-0 in OVC play and 4-9 overall with the win. The Racers fell to 6-12 overall and 2-2 in the OVC.
"We got the first one under our belts and we can focus on winning tomorrow," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "There were a lot of good things today. One of the key things was no errors for us on defense."
After falling behind 1-0 in the first, the Cougars took the lead for good with two runs in the second inning on RBIs by Chase Green and Skyler Geissinger. Geissinger added an RBI-single and Dustin Woodcock had a two-run triple in the five-run fourth which made it 7-1 SIUE. Geissinger drove home a run in the fifth as well and finished the day 4 for 4 with three RBIs.
The Racers scored twice each in the fifth and sixth innings against SIUE starter Ryan Daniels. Daniels earned his first win of the year in his longest outing. He allowed the five runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out two.
"He was pressing again today," Stoecklin said of Daniels. "He just didn't look like himself. He was doing things that were uncharacteristic of what he typically does on a Friday night."
Brett Thomas threw three scoreless innings in relief. He struck out two and did not allow a hit to earn his first career save.
"Brett Thomas did a fantastic job of coming in and locking that game down in the seventh, eighth, and ninth."
The Cougars finished with 14 hits, 10 of which came against Murray State starter Brock Downey, the OVC preseason Pitcher of the Year. Downey fell to 2-3 with the loss. He allowed all eight runs, six earned. He walked one and did not strike out a batter.
"We showed a complete offense tonight," Stoecklin added. "We stole a couple of bases. We sacrificed guys over. We manufactured some runs and when we needed to bang it out we banged out runs too. All around, we did a nice job at the plate today."
Matthew Johnson led Murray State at the plate. Johnson was 3 for 5. Tyler Lawrence was 1 for 5 with a pair of RBIs.
The Cougars and Racers will play the second game of the three-game series Sunday. First pitch
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