MARTIN, Tenn. – Junior starting pitcher Zach Hall struck out a season-best seven batters and junior first baseman Craig Massoni belted a pair of home runs as Austin Peay State University downed UT Martin, 9-3, in Ohio Valley Conference action at Skyhawk Field.
Massoni powered Austin Peay’s (36-13, 17-7 OVC) offense with his 3-for-5, two home run, five RBI performance. He put the Govs ahead with a three-run first-inning home run. Massoni would then strike again in the seventh inning with a two-run home that put the Govs ahead 8-1.
Hall (6-2) backed up the offensive outburst with his longest outing this season. He would allow one run and scattered three hits over the first six innings. Hall would get dinged for a run in both the seventh and eighth innings before departing. He held UT Martin to three runs on six this while striking out a career-high seven batters.
UT Martin (10-35, 3-22 OVC) would make things interesting in the ninth inning, as an Austin Peay error opened the door. The Skyhawks would load the bases against reliever Don Whitson Jr. before recording their first out on a fielder’s choice that cut down a run at home.
UTM would score runs on a sacrifice fly and second baseman Sonny Mastromatteo’s RBI single, slashing the lead to 9-5. Whitson would escape another bases loaded jam when he induced an inning-ending pop out.
Shortstop Reed Harper joined Massoni with a three-hit outing, including a ninth-inning RBI single. Right fielder Rolando Gautier was 2-for-5 with a RBI double and second baseman Jordan Hankins went 2-for-4 with a RBI single.
UT Martin’s Dan Tobik (1-7) suffered the loss after allowing six runs on six this over six innings. The Skyhawks starter struck out 10 batters and surrendered only two walks. Mastromatteo led the offense with a 2-for-5 outing.
Austin Peay and UT Martin continue their three-game OVC series with a 4 p.m., Saturday contest at Skyhawk Field.