ALTON - Edwardsville's baseball team trailed after the first inning 3-2, giving up the three runs in the first inning, but then scored 11 unanswered runs in the third through fifth innings as Spencer Stearns hit his fifth home run of the season in going on to a 13-3 win over Alton in the first game of a Southwestern Conference series played Tuesday evening at the Alton High ballpark.

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The Tigers took an early 2-0 lead in the first on Stearns' homer that cleared the fence in left, with Grant Huebner scoring ahead of Stearns. The Redbirds then cut the lead to 2-1 in the home half of the first, a Logan Bogard RBI grounder scored Alex Siatos to cut the lead to 2-1, then Austin Rathgeb hit a two-run shot over the fence in left field, with Caden Laslie scoring ahead of Rathgeb to give the Redbirds a 3-2 lead.

It would last until the third, when Edwardsville scored four times in the third, starting with an RBI single by Cole Funkhouser, who eventually scored on a wild pitch, then Riley Iffrig hit a RBI single to right, scoring Caleb Copeland to give the Tigers a 5-3 lead. Adam Powell singled home Iffrig to make the score 6-3.

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Jacoby Roberson scored on an error by the pitcher in the fourth to extend the Tigers' lead to 7-3, then in the fifth, an RBI single by Adam Powell scored Iffrig, a two-run triple by Roberson, a sacrifice fly by Kayden Jennings and RBI hits by Huebner and Stearns pushed across six runs to make the final 13-3 after the Redbirds were retired in the fifth.

Stearns had two hits, including his homer, and three RBIs for Edwardsville, while Powell and Roberson had two hits and drove home a pair of runs, Iffrig and Funkhouser each had two hits and an RBI, both Huebner and Jennings had a hit and RBI and Cade Hardy also had a base hit.

Rathgeb's two-run homer was his only hit and RBIs, while Siatos and Ashton Schepers each had a hit and Bogard drove home a run for Alton.

Gannon Burns struck out six on the mound for the Tigers, while Alec Marchetto struck out the side in the fifth to preserve the win. Max Ortis fanned three on the mound for the Redbirds, while Siatos struck out one batter.

The Tigers remained undefeated at 16-0, while the Redbirds are now 5-10, and the two teams will play each other at Tom Pile Field on Thursday in the return game, starting at 4:30 p.m. The Tigers then travel to the Kansas City area this coming weekend with games against Liberty, Mo. on Friday and Liberty North Saturday at US Ballpark in Ozark, MO., with the Friday game starting at 3:30 p.m. and the Saturday game starting at 6 p.m. The Redbirds host Highland Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., then host the St. Louis Patriots, a home school team, on Monday and host Collinsville in their next conference series Tuesday at home and Thursday at Collinsville's Fletcher Field. All games start at 4:30 p.m.

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