College Sports

Cougars drop middle game of series against EIU

Eastern Illinois starter Matt Wivinis allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings Friday leading the Panthers to a 6-3 win over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in the second game of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Simmons Baseball Complex in Edwardsville

The Cougars fell to 19-27 overall and 18-11 in OVC play. Eastern Illinois improved to 13-25 overall and 9-20 in the OVC.

"I think what it boils down to is that we didn't come out ready to play tonight," SIUE coach Tony Stoecklin said. "We assumed since we had beaten them last night and that they're in last place that we would just show up and we would come home with the victory.

"If you don't come to play you'll lose to the last-place team in your home ballpark," Stoecklin continued.

Wivinis improved to 3-8 with the win. He struck out eight and walked five.

Alec Saikal accounted for all three of SIUE's RBIs. Saikal put SIUE ahead in the first inning with an RBI single to score Chase Green. Saikal connected on his team-leading ninth home run of the year in the eighth inning, a two-run shot, to make it 6-3.

Demetre Taylor homered twice and finished 3 for 4 in the win for the Panthers.

SIUE starter Jarrett Bednar worked into the seventh inning but suffered the loss to fall to 3-5. Bednar allowed five runs on nine hits. He struck out five.

"Jarrett did his part. He gave us an opportunity to win," Stoeckin said. "We hadn't scored any runs for him and he had gotten into the seventh inning."

Ryan Agnitsch allowed a run on just two hits over the final 2 2/3 innings.

"The key is that Ryan Agnitsch looked like Ryan Agnitsch from earlier in the season," Stoecklin said. "He looked confident and he was attacking hitters. We're going to need him down the stretch and when we get into the conference tournament. We're going to need him to pitch like he can."

The Cougars and Panthers will play the final game of the series and the regular season Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. SIUE will honor seven seniors before the game.

"Regardless of how disappointing today is, the goal is still in front of us and that's to win the series," Stoecklin said. "We're going to come out tomorrow focused and get ready to put it on EIU."