JACKSONVILLE, Ala. – SIUE baseball banged out a season-high 18 hits in game one and scored a ninth-inning run in game two to sweep a doubleheader from Jacksonville State Sunday. The Sunday sweep completed a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series sweep for the Cougars.
SIUE won 12-4 and 2-1 and improved to 3-0 in the OVC and 3-8 overall. Jacksonville State fell to 0-3 in the OVC and 6-6 overall.
"From the first inning of this series we played with confidence," SIUE Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "I cannot reiterate enough how much of a different team we are when we play with confidence."
Dustin Woodcock hit a sacrifice fly with one out in the top of the ninth inning in game two, breaking a 1-1 tie. Woodcock drove home Justin Fagan who pinch ran for Keaton Wright, who led off the inning with a double.
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SIUE took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. After Wright led off the inning with a double, he advanced to third on a groundout by Chase Green and then scored on a groundout by Skyler Geissinger.
The ninth-inning run came against All-OVC closer Travis Stout. Stout fell to 0-1 with the loss.
"We showed toughness and confidence in game two," Stoecklin said. "We found a way to get it done against one of the best closers."
P.J. Schuster (1-0) worked five scoreless innings in relief to earn the game two win. He struck out five and allowed four hits.
"P.J. did a great job today. He had all three pitches working," Stoecklin said. "He pounded the strike zone all day. He just started to run out of gas in the ninth."
Zach Malach relieved Schuster in the bottom of the ninth with runners on first and second and just one out. Malach got pinch hitter Ty Pierce to fly out before striking out Clayton Daniel looking to end the game. The save was the second of the year for Malach, who also earned the save in game one of the series Saturday.
"I wanted to go with Zach to force (Jacksonville State) to make a move," Stoecklin explained. "It worked out in our favor. Zach is pitching with a ton of confidence right now."
Wright led the hit parade in game one going 4 for 5 with a double. Green was 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs. Nick Lombardo, Parker Guinn, Geissinger, and Woodcock each had two hits. Woodcock and Lombardo each homered in the win.
"We just all kind of piled on today," Stoecklin said. "It was nice to bust out and put a bunch of runs on someone."
SIUE took a 2-0 lead on back-to-back RBI doubles from Mario Tursi and Lombardo in the second inning.
The Gamecocks got RBIs from Tyler Hawthorne and Gavin Golsan in the home half of the inning to knot the score 2-2 after two.
The Cougars then put a six-spot on the board in the third inning, beginning with six consecutive hits to open the inning. Green, Guinn, and Geissinger each had single RBIs in the inning. The big hit came from Dustin Woodcock who connected on a three-run home run, his second of the year, to make it 8-2 Cougars after three innings.
The Gamecocks added single runs in the third and fourth innings to cut the Cougar lead to 8-4. Hawthorne led JSU in game one. He was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Lombardo added a solo homer in the seventh for a 9-4 SIUE lead. Green, Guinn, and Geissinger added RBIs again in the eighth for the 12-4 final.
JSU's Tony Urban surrendered six runs and fell to 2-2 with the loss. Urban pitched into the third inning. He allowed nine hits and struck out one.
Ryan Agnitch (1-0) pitched six scoreless innings in relief to earn his first win for the Cougars. He allowed a single hit, walked one, and struck out four.
"Aggie did a great job when we needed him to pick up Jarrett (Bednar)," Stoecklin said. "We played great defense behind him but he made great pitches too."
SIUE travels to Columbia, Mo. for a Wednesday game against the Missouri Tigers. Game time is 6:05 p.m. and the game can be heard live on 88.7 FM WSIE.