Felax, Cougars Drop EIU in OVC Opener

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Published on March 9 2013 4:06 pm
Last Updated on March 9 2013 4:06 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Travis Felax pitched eight scoreless innings of action to lead the SIUE baseball team over Eastern Illinois, 6-0, on Friday afternoon at the Simmons Baseball Complex. EIU drops to 3-9 on the year and 0-1 in Ohio Valley Conference action.

Felax (2-1), the current OVC Pitcher of the Week, also had four strikeouts while allowing nine hits. The Cougars improve to 3-7 on the year and 1-0 in conference play.

“Their starting pitcher (Felax) was unbelievable today and Matt (Borens) was not a sharp as usual,” said Eastern Illinois head coach Jim Schmitz. “It was disappointing to lose our first OVC game, but we have to regroup for tomorrow’s doubleheader.”

EIU had back-to-back hits to start the top of the ninth inning before Brooks McDowell relieved Felax and retired the final three Panther batters.

SIUE scored six runs through the first five innings of play to build a 6-0 advantage over the Panthers. Joel Greatting gave the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single to right field.

EIU had two more hits (9-7) than SIUE, but committed one more error (2-1). Both squads also left nine runners on base.

Nathan Sopena, Brant Valach and Treysen Vavra all went 2-for-4 at the plate to pace the Panther offense. Caleb Howell also extended his hit streak to 10 games in the loss.

Matt Borens (0-2) took the loss for EIU, surrendering six runs (five earned) in 4.2 innings of play. He also allowed four hits while issuing four walks.

The Panthers and Cougars conclude the weekend series today in a doubleheader starting at noon. The series was slated to have single games today and Sunday, but inclement weather heading toward Edwardsville forced the schedule change.