The Bears baseball team defeated Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Cougars, 14-4 on Saturday, Feb. 19 at Bear Stadium.
The Bears couldn’t have asked for better weather for Saturday’s game and were rewarded by a great crowd turnout, with plenty of Bear Stadium’s seats filled. The game was the second in a series of three against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the second win.
“It took us a while to get going” said head coach Allen Gum, “but [sophomore pitcher]Clint Green threw six solid innings of shutout ball.”
Green did, in fact, pitch five innings without a single score. “It was exciting to see the offense come together and put up some big innings like that” junior pitcher Dustin Ward said.
“We were just trying to be aggressive and fill up the strike zone” Green said, who held fast against the Cougars for five solid innings. The Bears’ biggest inning came at the bottom of the sixth when Bears sophomore catcher Michael Pair got the inning off to a great start with a home run over the left field wall. His home run scored the first points for the Bears and the first points of the game.
The Cougars scored their only four points during the seventh inning. At the top of the seventh inning, freshman pitcher Russell Watts came in as a relief pitcher for Green. Cougar second baseman, sophomore Matt Highland hit a single line drive into left center field. After walking a batter and runners advancing, Bears freshman designated hitter Devin Caldwell hit a double down the left field line bringing in two runners, giving the Cougars their first two points of the game.
Junior right fielder Greg Noble threw a runner out at the plate after catching a fly ball, which swung the Cougars’ momentum after scoring their only four runs.
Cougars junior third baseman Thad Hawkins hit a double down the left field line later in the inning, resulting in two more runs for the Cougars. Those runs were the last the Cougars scored during the game.
Pair was able to walk and junior first baseman Blake Roberts doubled down the left field line and second baseman senior Zack Dickson hit a single in the left field, later advancing to second base due to an error from the Cougars left fielder, allowing Roberts and Pair both to score.
Cougars Highland, Caldwell, junior center fielder Mitch Matecki and sophomore first baseman Joel Greatting tied each other with one run each.
Highland, Caldwell, Hawkins and freshman short stop Chase Green scored one hit each.
Pair led the Bears with three runs. Sophomore left fielder Ethan Harris led the Bears with three hits, and Noble led with three runs batted in.
Such a solid win for the Bears can only mean good things for the season ahead. With the whole team in top form, everyone has high hopes for all the games ahead.
The Bears’ next game will be against the Eastern Illinois University Panthers on Friday at 3 p.m. The Panthers were swept in their opening season series by the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
They lost to the Golden Eagles 6-2, 9-1 and 0-6. Last season, the Panters had a record of 18-35.