CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – No. 30 Austin Peay scored 20 runs on 31 hits Thursday night en route to a 20-2 win in the opener of a three-game Ohio Valley Conference baseball series at Raymond C. Hand Park. It is also the final regular season series of the year for both schools.
Austin Peay improved to 40-13 overall and 20-7 in OVC play with the win. The Cougars dropped to 16-33, 10-18 with the loss. The game included a 1:03 delay in the middle of the sixth inning due to lightning in the area.
Devin Caldwell and Jacob Stewart accounted for the only SIUE RBIs, each with solo home runs. Caldwell's one-out shot in the seventh was his 10th of the year. He is the first player since Josh Street hit 15 homers in 2009, to hit at least 10 home runs in a season. Caldwell finished 1 for 3. Stewart's home run, also a one out drive, was his second of the year. Travis Becherer and James Vazquez had the only other hits for the Cougars, who finished with four.
Govs' starter Zach Hall improved to 7-2 with six scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit through the first five innings. He allowed just two hits overall and struck out five.
Austin Peay's 31 hits marked the most hits allowed in a game by SIUE in program history.
The Govs scored nine times on nine hits in the second inning against Cougar starter Caleb Wilkerson. Wilkerson pitched just three innings, allowing 12 runs, 10 earned, on 15 hits. J.D. Williams tossed two innings before the delay, allowing two runs on five hits. Stewart finished the game on the mound for SIUE. He surrendered six runs, five earned, on 11 hits over the final three innings. He struck out two. It was Stewart's firs pitching appearance for the Cougars.
Jordan Hankins was 4 for 4 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs to pace the Austin Peay attack. Reed Harper was 5 for 6 with a home run and three RBIs. P.J. Torres was 2 for 3 with a home run and three RBIs. Cody Hudson was 4 for 4 with two RBIs.
The Cougars and Governors play the second game in the series Friday night. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.