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Hopkins, Stuckey help trigger sweep of UTM
MARTIN, Tenn. -- Southeast Missouri State University's baseball team concluded a power-packed weekend Sunday by posting its third consecutive rout of host Tennessee-Martin.
Brian Hopkins and Denver Stuckey both had monster games to lead the Indians to a 20-5 victory and a sweep of the three-game series.
The Indians, who outscored the Skyhawks 43-8 in the series, improved to 25-15 overall and 9-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference. They remained a game out of first place.
UTM fell to 14-25-1 and 3-10-1 and stayed in last place in the OVC.
"We had a magic weekend, no doubt," Southeast coach Mark Hogan said. "We came here needing a sweep, and we got it. We really played well in all phases."
Hopkins and Stuckey displayed the most magic Sunday.
Hopkins, continuing a torrid season, went 6-for-7 with three home runs -- including a grand slam -- eight runs batted in and four runs scored. He set a school single-game record for hits and came within one of Southeast's single-game mark for both homers and RBIs.
Hopkins, who narrowly missed his fourth homer during his final at-bat -- the ball hit near the top of the wall and he settled for a double -- went 11-for-15 in the series with four homers and 11 RBIs. He has 16 homers for the season and 50 RBIs while increasing his batting average to .433. He also has a 17-game hitting streak going.
Stuckey went 5-for-7 with two homers, five RBIs and five runs scored. He hit for a rare cycle by recording a single, double, triple and home run. Stuckey has six homers this season.
Justin Christian had three hits, including his 10th homer of the year.
Zach Borowiak had two hits, including his ninth homer, and he doubled to tie Southeast's career record with 65 doubles.
Seth Moulton added two hits, including his seventh homer.
The Indians finished with 21 hits, giving them 46 in the series. In addition to Sunday's eight homers, Southeast added six doubles. For the weekend, the Indians had 10 homers and 17 doubles.
Southeast also received a third straight strong starting pitching performance after Ryan Forsyth, making his first OVC start, improved to 4-0. In six innings, he allowed five hits and two runs (one earned), with five strikeouts and one walk.
"Ryan is really asserting himself," Hogan said.
Stan Skakalski, Brad Bumpus and Korey Klein all pitched one inning, with Klein hurling a perfect ninth.
The Indians jumped on top with four runs in the first inning -- Hopkins had a two-run homer and Christian a solo shot -- and they led 16-1 after four innings, at which time the only suspense left was whether expected rain would hold off to make the game official. The rain never came, and the teams played the full nine innings.
Southeast returns Tuesday with a non-conference game at Southwest Missouri State. The squads also will play Wednesday.
Softball suffers no-hitter
Southeast's softball team ended the regular season Sunday by being no-hit during a 3-0 loss at Eastern Kentucky.
Jonelle Csora fired the seven-inning gem, striking out five and walking three.
The Otahkians finished the regular season 15-27 overall and 11-9 in Ohio Valley Conference play as they wound up fourth in the eight-team league. The Colonels are 27-16 and a second-place 13-7.
Melissa Van Velkinburgh took the loss, allowing five hits and three runs in 2 2/3 innings. Rachel Van Fleet hurled 3 1/3 hitless innings.
Southeast will compete in the OVC Tournament beginning Thursday in Cookeville, Tenn.