On the surface, Wednesday's non-league baseball game against Freed-Hardeman didn't seem very significant for Southeast Missouri State University.
But after Sunday's discouraging Ohio Valley Conference loss at Jacksonville State -- in which Southeast blew a late nine-run lead -- the Indians were intent on getting back on a winning track.
Thanks to strong pitching from Derek Herbig and a timely, 11-hit attack, the Indians did just that with a 12-4 victory in front of about 250 fans at Capaha Field.
Southeast improved to 13-15 while Freed-Hardeman, an NAIA program from Henderson, Tenn., fell to 21-19.
"It was a tough loss Sunday, and we could have got down on ourselves, but we stayed together, and it was good to bounce back," Herbig said.
Added center fielder Frankie Montiel: "You try to forget about it. We had a big lead and blew it, and you always want to put those games behind you. It feels pretty good to bounce back."
Herbig had a lot to do with it. After Southeast went through much of its pitching during the three-game series at Jacksonville State -- and with a three-game OVC series at home against Samford on tap for this weekend -- the Indians' staff needed a breather.
In stepped Herbig (2-2). The junior left-hander allowed four hits and one earned run in eight innings, with 12 strikeouts and two walks.
"I felt really good," Herbig said.
Said Southeast coach Mark Hogan: "Derek did it all for us. He not only pitched a great game, he really saved our pitching staff. That was important."
Third baseman Eric Horstman had three hits, including a triple, and drove in two runs while scoring three times. Montiel doubled twice and drove in three runs. Shortstop Ernie Bracamonte had two hits and scored four runs.
Catcher Brady Noll added two hits, first baseman Gary Gilbert had two RBIs, and Eric Hoffman came off the bench in the late going to drill a two-run homer, his second of the season.
The game was tied 1-1 when Southeast broke things open with a four-run fifth inning. The big blow among four hits was Montiel's two-run double.
Southeast, which never trailed, led 5-2 after sixth innings. The Indians then turned the contest into a romp with two runs in the seventh and five more in the eighth, which included Hoffman's two-run homer and Horstman's two-run triple.
Robert Matlock had two of Freed-Hardeman's eight hits. The Lions got four hits and two unearned runs in the ninth off Southeast relievers Matt Carter and Ryan Forsyth.