Southeastern Baseball tops SIU Edwardsville in dramatic fashion
The Lion’s baseball team came out with the victory on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field over SIUE 4–3.
Despite the win, Southeastern trailed for much of the contest. The Cougars struck first in the top of the second inning with two runs.
Designated hitter Brady Bunten led off the inning with a hit by pitch. First basemen Ole Arntson singled and runners were suddenly on first and second with no outs.
Left fielder Braedyn Brewer sac bunted to put Bunten and Arntson on second and third with one out. A sacrifice fly from catcher Steven Pattan scored Bunten and SIUE took a one run lead.
Later in the inning, Arntson reached home on a wild pitch from SLU pitcher Hayden Robb putting his squad up by two.
The home team responded in the bottom of the third when first basemen Preston Faulkner cranked a double to left field scoring center fielder Tyler Finke who had walked and stolen second after the first two batters struck out swinging.
The Lions comeback didn’t stop there. In the bottom half of the following inning, leadoff batter Evan Keller hit an RBI single scoring right fielder Christian Garcia who reached earlier via an error to level the contest at two runs apiece.
SIUE broke the tie immediately in the top of the fifth courtesy of shortstop Josh Ohl’s solo homerun crushed over the wall in left field.
Starting pitcher Hayden Robb got out of the inning but was pulled after surrendering three runs on just two hits and recording seven strikeouts through five innings.
This would be the last time the visiting Cougars scored as the Lions would leave it late. Trailing 3–2 after seven innings, Southeastern’s offense came to life.
Joe Delaney pinch ran for pinch batter Champ Artigues after the redshirt junior reached second on a single and throwing error from SIUE’s second baseman.
Another pinch hitter came up to the plate in Pierce Leavengood who got Delaney over to third on a fielding error by the second baseman.
This paved the way for 2021 second team All-Southland conference member Keller to bat in his second RBI of the game via a fielder’s choice.
SLU sophomore pitcher Andrew Landry closed the door on the Cougs in the top of the ninth as he pitched the final 2.1 innings retiring all seven batters he faced while striking out five of them.
The scene was set for a dramatic bottom of the ninth inning with the teams tied at three.
A hit by pitch, single and intentional walk loaded the bases for Southeastern with zero outs. Finke, who led off the inning, scored the game winning run on a wild pitch in walk off fashion.
The Lions dugout cleared as players celebrated around home plate in delight.
“You expect to win in those close moments. That’s the difference between a championship ball club and a club that goes .500. The offense has been a little anxious and we haven’t settled in at the plate… But the good thing is, we’ve played some really good defense and we pitched it very well against an offensive team in SIUE,” said head coach Matt Riser on the Lion’s 4–3 come from behind victory.
This was pitcher Hayden Robb’s first career start for SLU and he loved every minute of it.
“I came out the gate pretty strong. The second inning I had a bit of struggles, but it is what it is. I know what I need to work on. The overall start was good enough to win a ball game and that’s all I really care about. I’m just glad our guys out the pen could come out and finish the job for us,” said the Mississippi Gulf Coast community college transfer on his very first outing for the Green and Gold.
Southeastern moved to 2–0 on the season with the win at the time, but currently sit at 3–4 after facing some stout competition.