EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. – Austin Peay left-hander Michael Costanzo kept SIUE bats at bay Friday and the Governors won the opener of the three-game Ohio Valley Conference series 7-0 at Simmons Complex.
Austin Peay improved to 27-19 overall and 16-9 in OVC play. The Cougars fell to 13-30 overall and 4-18 in the OVC.
"Mike Costanzo did a great job," SIUE Head Coach Sean Lyons said. "He really kept us off-balance."
Costanzo allowed just three hits and three walks. He struck out seven and improved to 8-1.
The Cougars first hit didn't come until a leadoff double by Aaron Jackson in the fifth inning.
"It's a funny game," Lyons added. "We were telling the guys in about the fifth inning, we were down 4-0 and it really truly could have been a 4-3 ballgame, even without us getting hits."
The Cougars left four on base through the first three innings, despite not getting a hit. SIUE stranded 10 runners for the game.
"We didn't execute in moving guys over and putting balls in play with runners at third base," Lyons said. "It's been the story all year. We left opportunities to score."
The Governors scored twice in the third inning to open the scoring. Parker Phillips picked up the RBI with a sacrifice fly. Two batters alter, Nick Walker homered. Phillips added a two-run home run in the fifth to extend Austin Peay's lead to 4-0.
Collin Baumgartner (0-2) started and worked into the sixth. He allowed six runs, four earned, on four hits. He struck out three.
The Govs used two hits and a Cougar error to score three more times in the sixth inning for the final margin.
"Collin really did not have his best stuff tonight, but he did battle early," Lyons said. "He struggled with is fastball command. He wasn't as sharp as he has been of late, but he was still able to give us five."
The Cougars managed just five hits for the game. Aaron Jackson was 2 for 4.
"'A.J.' has done a nice job," Lyons said. "He is one of the guys who has shown the ability to drive the baseball."
The Cougars and Governors will play the second game of the series Saturday. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.