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Indians drop second straight as EKU rallies
RICHMOND, Ky. -- Early Saturday afternoon, Southeast Missouri State University's baseball team was putting the finishing touches on its school-record 14th straight victory.
By Sunday afternoon, the Indians were saddled with a two-game losing streak.
Eastern Kentucky, after rallying to win the second game of Saturday's Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader, rallied again Sunday to beat the visiting Indians 8-5 and take the series two games to one.
The Indians fell to 17-10 overall and 3-2 in OVC play as the defending conference champions lost their first league series since 2001. The Colonels improved to 13-15 and 3-2.
After banging out 33 hits and committing no errors during Saturday's two games, the Indians had more errors (five) than hits (four) in Sunday's contest.
Southeast jumped on top with a run in the top of the first inning, then fought an uphill battle most of the day as EKU held a 4-1 lead after six innings.
But with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh, Southeast left fielder Brian Hopkins belted his third home run of the weekend and sixth of the season, the grand slam putting the Indians on top 5-4.
That's the way things stood until the bottom of the eighth, when the Colonels used five hits and two throwing errors by Southeast catcher Tristen McDonald -- including one on a botched EKU suicide squeeze attempt that allowed the eventual winning run to score -- to plate four runs and grab an 8-5 lead. McDonald had three errors on the day.
Jon Nourie, Southeast's starter, allowed three second-inning runs but kept the Indians in the game before departing in the seventh. He was charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
Tim Alvarez, the OVC's top pitcher who won Saturday's opener, took his first loss of the season in relief. The third of four Southeast hurlers, Alvarez fell to 9-1. He retired one batter in the eighth and allowed one hit while being charged with two runs (one earned).
Ryan Forsyth and James Beever also both allowed a run for the Indians.
Josh Anderson, the OVC's second-leading hitter entering the weekend, paced the Colonels with two hits and four RBIs.
The Indians return to action Tuesday with a none-conference home game against Arkansas State. The first pitch will be at 3 p.m. at Capaha Field.