After winning 20-2 on Thursday, Austin Peay continued their winning streak by defeating SIU Edwardsville 10-8 on Friday, May 17 at Raymond C. Hand Park.
APSU (41-13, 21-7) tacked on another 16 hits in the series, increasing the total to 47 in two games. The Govs jumped out to 8-1 lead after three innings on Friday, which helped senior starting pitcher Casey Delgado earn the win on the mound.
SIU Edwardsville (16-34, 10-19) came back to close the deficit to just one run by scoring two in the fourth and four in the fifth. But the Govs offense was able to tack on much-needed insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, and along with the help of bullpen arms Kacy Kemmer and Tyler Rogers, were able to edge out the Cougars.
Senior Reed Harper continued to stay locked in at the plate, hitting a two-run homer over the left-center wall to put the Govs up early in the game.
The offense did not slow down from there as Brett Carlson doubled home Michael Davis, and Rolando Gautier followed to score Carlson, putting APSU up 4-0 after two innings.
SIU Edwardsville tacked on their first run of the contest in the third, but the Govs came back to plate four runs in the bottom half of the frame. Craig Massoni started the run by hitting his 14th home run of the season. Three of the bottom four hitters recorded three RBI singles, increasing the margin to 8-1.
The Cougars put up two runs in the fourth on a double by Matt Highland, then added back-to-back singles in the fifth along with a RBI sacrifice fly to narrow the gap to just two runs. That gap would then be shortened to one, as a wild pitch by Delgado would allow another run, making it 8-7.
But when the momentum had shifted, the Govs called on their shortstop Harper to extend the lead. The Cougars intentionally walked Massoni to load the bases, which brought up the clean-up batter Harper. The senior reached with a single in the left field gap, scoring Dylan Riner and Carlson.
Kemmer relieved Delgado in the sixth, and worked well in the inning to strike out two batters, allowing just one hit.
Both teams were scoreless through the next three innings, which set up senior closer Rogers for a save opportunity with a 10-7 lead in the ninth.
Rogers allowed a triple to Nick Lombardo, which gave Travis Becherer an opportunity to bring him home from third with a groundout. But the right-hander got the job done, earning his 20th save of the season. The number ties the Ohio Valley Conference career saves mark at 32.
APSU will wrap-up the series with SIU Edwardsville on Saturday, with a new scheduled start time of noon. Prior to the game, the four seniors (Delgado, Harper, Hudson, and Rogers) will be honored for their accomplishments in a Governors uniform.
Photo: Reed Harper (Josh Vaughn/The All State)