CLARKSVILLE - Austin Peay State University's baseball team finally built an early lead and made it stick, cruising to an 8-4 victory against UALR in the final game of the Riverview Inn Classic, Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (13-2) won the first four games of its now five-game win streak by three runs or less, but came out Sunday and jumped out to a 6-1 lead after three innings and did not look back. The Govs would extend the lead to 8-1 after the middle innings before UALR added three late runs to narrow the deficit.
The Govs struck for the game's first run on designated hitter Kyle Schlatter's second-inning sacrifice fly. UALR quickly responded with second baseman Chris Burk's RBI double in the third to tie the game.
Austin Peay broke the game open in the third. Left fielder Cody Hudson put the Govs ahead for good with an RBI single, followed immediately by shortstop Reed Harper's RBI single. Yet it was catcher P.J. Torres' home run to straight-away center field that gave the Govs a comfortable 6-1 lead.
Starter Zach Hall (2-0) took advantage of the early offensive output, allowing just the one run over six innings for the win. He ran into a patch of trouble in the seventh, surrendering a two-run home run, but recovered to end the inning with a strikeout. Hall would scatter eight hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out six.
Offensively, shortstop Reed Harper paced the Govs 12-hit attack with a 3-for-4, two RBI outing that also included a pair of stolen bases. Third baseman Kevin Corey went 3-for-3, including a his season's first home run to lead off the sixth inning.
UALR (9-7) rapped out 11 hits, but left eight runners on base in the loss. Center fielder Bryson Thionnet adding that two-run seventh-inning home run and an RBI single in the ninth to finish 2-for-5 with three RBI.
Trojans starter Ethan Schlechte (2-1) suffered his season's first loss after allowing six runs on eight hits over 3.1 innings.
Austin Peay concludes its 12-game homestand when it hosts Indiana State in a rescheduled 5 p.m., Tuesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.