CLARKSVILLE - First baseman Craig Massoni had a six-RBI night and Austin Peay State University's baseball team outlasted Southern Illinois, 11-8, Tuesday night at Raymond C. Hand Park.
With the win, Austin Peay improves to 7-1 and is off to the second best start in program history, only behind the 1958 squad's 8-0 start.
Massoni, who went 3-for-4 with six RBI, powered the Govs throughout the night. His two-run single in the third gave Austin Peay its first lead. Two innings later Massoni added a two-run home run to break a 3-3 tie.
Massoni's third hit came in the pivotal sixth inning. With the game tied 5-5, the Govs got back-to-back walks to start the inning. Second baseman Jordan Hankins followed with an RBI double that gave APSU a lead they would not relinquish. After the Salukis walked third baseman Reed Harper, Massoni hit a flare over the infield but his single provided two key insurance runs. Southern Illinois surrendered the Govs ninth run on a wild pitch later in the inning.
Southern Illinois (4-4) scored in six of its nine innings but will leave Clarksville wondering what could have been. The Salukis loaded the bases four times and put a total of 15 base runners aboard in the fifth through eighth innings. However, they scored only five runs in that span and stranded 10 base runners.
Austin Peay reliever Ryan Quick (2-0), the first man out of the bullpen, picked up the win for the second consecutive game. He allowed two runs on one hit and two walks over 1.2 innings. Starter Zach Hall allowed three runs over 4.1 innings and did not factor into the decision. Closer Tyler Rogers recorded four outs, including two strikeouts, to notch his season's fifth save.
Massoni was the five-hole hitter and anchor of a lineup that saw the first five hitters combine for a 10-for-21 effort at the plate. Right fielder Rolando Gautier, shortstop Kevin Corey and Hankins each had two hits and was 1-for-4 with two walks.
Southern Illinois' Brad Drust (1-1) was the second man out of the bullpen and suffered the loss after allowing three runs in one-third of an inning. SIU starter Bryce Sablotny allowed five runs over 4.1 innings. The Salukis pitching staff surrendered 12 walks to Govs hitters.
Outfielder Austin Montgomery led SIU with a 1-for-4, two RBI outing. Four Salukis hitters had two hits as they match the Govs hit output (10-10).
Austin Peay returns to action when it hosts Michigan State in a 3 p.m., Friday contest to start a three-game weekend series at Raymond C. Hand Park. The Govs Wednesday contest against Indiana State has been postponed.