CHARLESTON, Ill. -- Southeast Missouri State University experienced a long and frustrating Saturday afternoon as the Indians began a crucial Ohio Valley Conference series at Eastern Illinois.
The squads waited out a rain delay of 3 hours, 33 minutes before the first pitch was ever thrown -- then the Indians dropped a 6-5 decision. Southeast (17-20, 7-6) fell to sixth place in the 10-team OVC. EIU (15-20, 9-4) is in second place.
Southeast and EIU were supposed to play a doubleheader Saturday, but because of the rain delay and the fact Coaches Stadium doesn't have lights, the squads will attempt to play a twinbill today beginning at noon.
With darkness setting in -- it's doubtful the squads could have played much longer -- the Indians threatened to either tie or take the lead in the top of the ninth inning.
Ernie Bracamonte led off with a single, and with one out Freddy Lopez singled. Brent Lawson then grounded a ball to third baseman Ryan Campbell, who threw to second baseman Chris Uhle for a force out. First baseman Kevin Carkeek dropped the relay in an attempt at a double play, seemingly keeping the Indians alive, but pinch-runner Bryan Kurt was ruled to have interfered with the play at second and the umpires called Lawson out to end the game.
Bracamonte had three of Southeast's 11 hits while Brady Noll added two. Bo Jenkins drove in two runs.
EIU had 10 hits. Kyle Haines led with two doubles and three RBIs.
Mike Fitch (3-3) suffered his first OVC loss of the season after three wins. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed seven hits and six runs (five earned), with three strikeouts and five walks.
Stan Skakalski, pitching for the first time in several weeks after recovering from an injury, gave the Indians two scoreless relief innings to keep them close late.
Kyle Widegren (5-4) pitched five innings for the win.
Trailing 4-2, the Indians missed a golden opportunity in the sixth inning as they scored a run and still had the bases loaded with nobody out but failed to do any more damage. EIU later went ahead 6-3 and then held on for the victory.