Southeast Missouri State baseball claims 5-4 comeback win vs. Western Illinois

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Tristen Gagan hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Southeast Missouri State baseball team overcame an early three-run deficit to beat Western Illinois 5-4 on Saturday at Capha Field. The win clinches a series victory for SEMO over the Leathernecks.

With the Redhawks trailing 4-3, Gagan smashed a home run over the left field wall. Matthew Wade then earned his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

WIU (0-6) jumped out to a 3-0 lead with back-to-back homers in the top of the first. A two-run blast was followed by a solo shot.

Southeast (4-2) got on the scoreboard when Dan Holst came around to score after drawing a two-out walk. Holst scored again in the sixth. He led off the frame with a single and after stealing second, Kyle Bottger drove the center fielder in with an RBI single.

The Leathernecks got one back in the seventh with a successful suicide squeeze.

Again, SEMO responded, though. This time, Clayton Evans drove in shortstop Connor Basler to cut the deficit to 4-3. That set the stage for Gagan's heroics.

The rally started when Bottger reached base with one out on a fielding error by WIU right fielder Drue Galassi. Gagan followed with the game-winning two-run home run.

Holst led the way for SEMO offensively with a 2 for 2 day at the plate with two walks. No other Redhawk had more than one hit a day after the bats came alive in a 22-2 win over WIU.

Robert Beltran started for Southeast and gave up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. Carlos Vega picked up the win with 2 2/3 innings of one-run ball out of the bullpen.

Preston Church, who surrendered Gagan's homer, took the loss for WIU. He gave up three runs, two earned, in two innings.

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