SIUE won their second Ohio Valley Conference series of the season against U.T. Martin, with a score of 8-7 in the opener and a score of 9-6 for the second game later that night. The last game of the weekend went to U.T. Martin with a final score of 14-5.
Head Coach Sean Lyons said that the Cougars performed well offensively on Friday, specifically mentioning redshirt sophomore first baseman Ole Arntson and redshirt junior pitcher Brant Glidewell.
“We swung the bats really well. It was a warm day, the wind was blowing it [in the direction we were hitting], and we took full advantage,” Lyons said. “Ole Arntson had four home runs on the day, so he played a major factor in both wins. Brant Glidewell had a great start for us in game two and really gave us the opportunity to extend the lead in game two, so it was a good game after all.”
Lyons said U.T. Martin’s pitching threw off the team’s offense during Saturday's game.
“The guy on the mound for them was really pitching well. I would think that the one thing he did was he really executed pitches to the inside part of the plate and just was doing a great job with mixing pitches and keeping our offense, that had been doing so well, kinda off balance yesterday,” Lyons said.
Lyons said he is happy with the result of winning two out of three games, but his players still have room for growth.
“This was a successful weekend. Anytime you win two out of three, it’s successful. An area that I think we need to improve on — and this is something we’ve talked about all year — is just consistency day in and day out,” Lyons said.
Arntson said he got into a good groove for hitting on Friday, but he wasn’t as satisfied with his performance on Saturday.
“Friday, obviously I thought I swung well. It started at batting practice, we worked a lot in the middle. I was crushing the ball in the middle, so I felt really confident going in. Saturday I wasn’t as happy, just [because] their coaches made adjustments and I didn’t make adjustments [until] later in the game. That’s part of baseball, too. It’s not always easy,” Arntson said.
Arntson also said using scouting reports to anticipate U.T. Martin’s pitching strategies helped the Cougars to perform well offensively early.
“They thought we struggled with fastballs, so a lot of us got fastballs in as hitters, and we knew that on a scouting report,” Arntson said. “We took advantage of that because we knew they struggled landing breaking balls, so we were attacking fastballs early in the count that were in. We had good results.”
Arntson said U.T. Martin made adjustments in their pitching approach to get their win on Saturday.
“Our free passes have hurt us in ball games, and we saw it evidently early, and they took advantage of that. We didn’t adjust to the changes they were making. They were able to get inside with fastballs and we struggled to change our approach,” Arntson said.
Glidewell said he was pleased with his and his team’s performance throughout the series.
“I thought overall we did pretty well. Pitching, we just [have to] limit free bases and throw a little bit more strikes, but those were tough pitching conditions, especially on the second day,” Glidewell said.
Glidewell said the team was expecting to win Saturday's game, so U.T. Martin surprised them.
“We were kind of expecting to sweep — which, we should be expecting to sweep — and I think they kinda hit us in the mouth a little bit. We scored runs that same inning after them, but when they put up more runs, we were just a little bit down on ourselves, which we shouldn’t be,” Glidewell said. “A little bit of luck went their way on some balls and a little bit less for us.”
SIUE’s next game will be on the road against Western Michigan at 3 p.m. on April 16.