SIUE (23-26, 11-16) vs.
Jacksonville State (27-24, 14-13)
Thu., May 18, 6 p.m.
Fri., May 19, 1 p.m.
Sat., May 20, 1 p.m.
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball has won five of six Ohio Valley Conference games and is tied for the eighth and final OVC Tournament spot with one regular season series to play. The Cougars travel to Oxford, Alabama to face Jacksonville State in a three-game series beginning Thursday.
The Cougars and Gamecocks will play a 6 p.m. game Thursday before 1 p.m. games Friday and Saturday at Choccolocco Park. The Gamecocks are playing their home games off campus because of renovations to their on-campus facility.
SIUE is tied for eighth place in the OVC with UT Martin and Eastern Illinois. The top eight teams earn a place in the OVC tournament which begins next week. All 11 teams remain alive for a tournament spot.
"We're in a position to where the weekend still means something," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "We're trying to compete to get one of those final spots in the OVC tournament."
SIUE currently has the fifth-best batting average in the OVC at .295 overall. The Cougars are hitting .386 with 12 home runs over their last six OVC games. They have a combined .361 batting average and are averaging 10.3 runs per game over their last 10 games.
"They've done a nice job offensively and on the mound over the last two weekends," Lyons said of his team. "We hit a rough patch a few weeks back. It would have been really easy for the guys to give in. They didn't. They brought a great attitude to practice and it's paying off. They're playing really well."
Meanwhile, Jacksonville State brings the OVC's best pitching staff into the series. Gamecocks pitchers have combined for a 5.17 earned run average and 435 strikeouts.
The Cougars will stick with the same starting rotation that they have used nearly the entire season. Right-handers Nelson Martz, Brock Fulkerson and Danny Ehrsam will make the three starts in the series. All five of SIUE's wins over the last two weekends have come from the three starters.
"They've done the job," Lyons added. "We'll ride the same guys that got us into this position."
Probable Pitching Matchup
Thursday: SIUE RHP Nelson Martz (7-4) vs. JSU LHP Derrick Adams (6-2)
Friday: SIUE RHP Brock Fulkerson (4-5) vs. JSU RHP Colton Pate (2-6)
Saturday: SIUE RHP Danny Ehrsam (4-2) vs. JSU RHP Joe McGuire (7-1)