CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay senior right-hander Ricky Marshall pitched the Govs to a 7-4 win against Northern Illinois, Friday at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Marshall (2-0) allowed one run (unearned) on four hits and three walks, striking out eight in 7.0 innings of work. The lone run allowed came in the first inning as the Huskies capitalized on a Govs error. Marshall’s last outing saw him allow three first-inning runs, but this time the senior found his groove in a hurry.
It didn’t hurt that the Govs gave Marshall plenty of help early. A leadoff walk by sophomore Michael Blanchard set the tone for a four-run Austin Peay first inning.
The Govs (3-2) loaded the bases after a bunt single by sophomore Jon Clinard, a fielder’s choice by senior Adam Browett and a walk by freshman John Hogan. Blanchard scored on an RBI hit-by-pitch courtesy senior Trey Lucas. Then a Huskie error on a ball hit by senior Matt Kole allowed Hogan and Browett to score and another fielder’s choice plated Lucas.
That lead was enough to settle Marshall down as he followed with six shutout innings, despite two Governors errors.
Austin Peay’s offense was a bit shaky as well, stranding eight runners on the night. That included leaving the bases loaded in the fifth.
Northern Illinois (0-4) looked to make a run on the Govs bullpen late in the game, scoring two runs on Kole – who replaced Marshall in the eighth – on a two-run home run by Jordin Hood. However, with one on and one out, McClure went to senior closer Zach Gerler. After hitting the first batter, Gerler induced consecutive ground balls to earn his season’s second save.
Clinard led the Govs with a 3-for-5 effort, while Kole went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Browett also added two RBI for the Govs.
Hood went 3-for-5 with two RBI to lead NIU, while Dave Reynolds added a 3-for-4 effort. Chuck Lukanen (0-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs in 6.0 innings.