CLARKSVILLE – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team used a rare offensive onslaught to post a 20-2 Ohio Valley Conference victory against SIUE, Thursday night at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (40-13, 20-7 OVC) saw each of its starting nine record a hit and 13 players in total finished the night with a base knock. The Govs finished with 31 base hits, the most since a 33-hit affair at Morehead State in 2007.
After a nine-run second inning was followed by three runs in the third and two more in the fourth, only two questions remained. First, how far could starter Zach Hall carry his no-hit bid. Secondly, how many at-bats would it take for first baseman Craig Massoni, the OVC’s leading hitter, to record a hit.
Hall (7-2) would carry his no-hitter into the sixth inning where he allowed a one-out single to SIUE center fielder Travis Becherer. The Cougars would add a second hit in the frame, but could not scratch out a run.
Following the half inning the game was delayed for more than an hour due to lightning, ending Hall’s night. Still, he picked up the win with six scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out five batters.
Massoni’s quest for a base hit would consume four at-bats until he singled in the sixth inning following the weather delay. He would finish the night 1-for-6 at the plate, dropping his average to .380 and his lead over Morehead State’s Kane Sweeney to nine points.
Otherwise it was a banner night for the Govs batters. All told, Austin Peay finished with 13 extra-base hits in their 31-hit outing – eight doubles, a triple and four home runs.
Shortstop Reed Harper went 5-for-6 with three RBI, including a two-run home run in the sixth. Third baseman Jordan Hankins had two home runs and a double as part of a 4-for-5, four RBI outing. Left fielder Cody Hudson also had four hits, including a double. Center fielder Dylan Riner also chipped in four hits.
SIUE starter Caleb Wilkerson (2-5) suffered the loss after allowing 12 runs on 15 hits in the first three innings. The Cougars finished with four hits, including solo home runs by third baseman Jacob Stewart and right fielder Devin Caldwell.
Austin Peay and SIUE continue their Ohio Valley Conference series with a 6 p.m., Friday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.