Morehead State left-hander Aaron Leasher flipped the script on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on Saturday, twirling a four-hit complete-game shutout one day after the Eagles were blanked by the Cougars. Morehead State won the second game of the three-game Ohio Valley Conference series 2-0.
“It was a well-pitched game on both sides,” said new SIUE head coach Danny Jackson. “They took advantage of some situations and we didn’t and that was the difference in the ballgame. They were in our shoes last night.”
The Cougars slipped to 8-27 overall and 5-15 in the OVC. Morehead State improved to 22-18 overall and 9-8 in OVC play
Leasher fired his second complete game of the year while racking up a career-high 15 strikeouts.
Never miss a local story.
“(Leasher) was phenomenal. He was absolutely fantastic,” Jackson said. “He got ahead all day long. His breaking ball is a really good pitch and he was able to locate that anytime he wanted to. We kind of let him dictate our approach.”
SIUE pitchers Jarret Bednar and Ryan Agnitsch limited the Eagles to just the two runs on seven hits. Morehead State scored single runs in the third and fourth innings and made the lead stand up behind Leasher. Bednar (1-7) allowed both runs in six innings of work. He struck out five. Agnitsch tossed three scoreless innings in relief. He struck out four.
“Jarrett Bednar was great,” Jackson said. “Ryan Agnitsch out of the bullpen did a great job for us.”
The Cougars came in the eighth innings when they loaded the bases. Jacob Stewart walked to start the inning before Jackson Layton struck out Mario Tursi and Kailer Smith followed with back-to-back singles. Brock Weimer struck out pinch-hitting and Logan Andersen struck out to end the inning.
“Guys are starting to believe in their abilities and it’s really showing,” Jackson added. We are a great defensive team and we can be a really good pitching team, which we are showing. We need to do the same thing at the plate. We need to go up there with confidence and start attacking.”
The rubber game of the three-game series is Sunday. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.
“The last two game have been great baseball,” Jackson said. “Tomorrow we’re going to come out and play great defense and we’re going to attack the strike zone and we’ll attack at the plate with quality at-bats and it’s going to be a great day.”
LU-Belleville 11-8 Hannibal-LaGrange 2-2
The Lindenwood University-Belleville baseball team earned its first American Midwest Conference (AMC) sweep on the season as they defeated Hannibal-LaGrange University 11-2 in game one and 8-2 in the finale in Hannibal, Mo.
It was the second straight outing for the Lynx (15-36; 8-16) defeating the Trojans (6-39; 3-21 AMC) by the score of 11-2.
Offensively, they totaled 14 hits in the first game and were led by Drew Fair going 3-for-4 with a run scored and game-high four RBI. Matt Lawver went 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Ethan Ruff, Chuck Terron, Jordan Evans and Jesus Alvarez added an RBI each.
On the mound, Michael Sabatino picked up his third win on the year as he went the distance, allowing two runs on eight hits and struck out three.
The bats continued rolling in game two as they totaled a season-high 15 hits against the Trojans pitching staff.
Fair couldn’t have closed out the series any better as he went 4-for-4 with a runs scored and an RBI. At the 1-2 spots in the order, Cory Lubinski and Ruff combined to go 3-for-12 with four RBI, while Evans extended his hitting streak to five by going 3-for-5.
On the mound, Jason Roberts was dominant as he picked up his fourth win on the year after going 8.0 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on nine hits and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts.
The team will return to the diamond and look to extend its winning streak at home in a non-conference game against Lindenwood University-St. Charles. The game starts at 4 p.m. Tuesday at GCS Ballpark.
Saint Joseph’s 13-8, McKendree 0-0
The McKendree University baseball team lost both ends of its Great Lakes Valley Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Saint Joseph’s College. The Pumas tossed a pair of shutouts to grab wins of 13-0 in the opener and 8-0 in game two in Rensselaer, Ind.
The Bearcats are now 13-25 overall and 5-13 in the GLVC. McKendree and Saint Joseph’s will face each other again on Sunday in another GLVC twinbill. First pitch is set for noon at Gil Hodges Field.
Saint Joseph’s (22-18, 10-8 GLVC) broke open a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning of game one with four runs to take a 4-0 lead. The Pumas tacked on three runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth to extend its margin to 12-0. From there, Saint Joseph’s starter Tasker Strobel was able to hold the McKendree bats in check. Strobel tossed the first eight innings to pick up the win, holding the Bearcats to just four hits.
In the nightcap, Saint Joseph’s held a 1-0 lead before exploding for five runs in the second to push its advantage to 6-0. The Pumas’ Quinn Snarskis pitched a complete-game five-hitter with 10 strikeouts to help complete the doubleheader sweep.
Senior infielder Adam Kunkel (Red Bud) had two hits in the nightcap to lead the way for McKendree.