EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – SIUE baseball wrapped up its regular season Friday, dropping both games of a doubleheader to Belmont at Simmons Baseball Complex.
Belmont took the opener 12-11 in 11 innings before winning the nightcap 6-2.
The Cougars finished the regular season at 25-26 overall and 12-12 in the Ohio Valley Conference. SIUE will now prepare for the OVC Tournament, where it will compete for a tournament title for the first time since 2015. The Cougars will now its seed following the conclusion of league play Saturday.
Belmont improved to 37-19 overall and 18-6 in league play. The Bruins secured the regular season championship and the number one seed in next week’s tournament.
Brady Bunten drove home five in the opener, where the Cougars built a four-run lead beginning with a three-run first inning. Bunten capped the frame with a two-run homer, his 11th of the year. He drove home three with a bases loaded double in the sixth as par of a four-run inning to give SIUE a 9-5 advantage.
Belmont took a 10-9 lead in the ninth, before Avery Owusu-Asiedu tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Belmont score again in the 10th and Brett Johnson tied the score with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the inning. The homer was his 22nd of the year and gave him a Division I era record 60 RBIs for the year.
Belmont won the game with a run in the top of the 11th† The Cougars couldn’t respond in the bottom half.
Kaid Karnes suffered the loss in relief, working the final three innings. He allowed three runs, but just one earned.
The Cougars outhit Belmont 15-11. Johnson and Josh Ohli had three hits apiece.
Quinn Waterhouse turned a career-best six innings in the start in game two. He allowed two runs and struck out two.
“Quinn was outstanding,” SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. “After the really tough game one loss, we needed someone to come in and keep us in the game. He did more that that. As we get deeper into the tournament next week, maybe he’s a guy that can give us extended innings.”
Johnson added two hits, including his 23rd home run of the year in the late game. Brennan Orfu had two hits for the Cougars. Brett Pierson drove home the other run with a sacrifice fly.
Between games the Cougars honored nine seniors who were playing their final home weekend series.
“Senior day is always tough, but it’s a great day to recognize what these guys have done for the program and what they have accomplished academically and on the field,” Lyons said. “This is a really good collective group of not just ballplayers but young men. It’s been fun to see them develop and grow within the program. It brings a smile to your face to reflect back on what they’ve done.”
Along with Johnson, Karnes and Waterhouse, the team honored Brant Glidewell† Connor Kiffer† Alec Kubik† Steven Pattan† Nic Roes† Richie Well†
The Cougars will open play at the OVC tournament Wednesday in Lexington, Kentucky. Game time and opponent will be determined Saturday.
“I told the guys after the game, I think we’d love to enjoy some wins in the conference tournament even more than sending the seniors off with a win today,” Lyons added. “We finished 12-12 and that’s nothing to hang your head about. It is a step in the right direction. Now you get the opportunity to compete at least one more time. You win and you keep playing.”