CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – SIUE baseball nearly erased a seven-run deficit Friday, falling to No. 30 Austin Peay 10-8 at Raymond C. Hand Park in the second game of a season-ending Ohio Valley Conference series.
"We competed much better all the way around today," SIUE Interim Head Coach Tony Stoecklin said. "We took better at-bats. Our energy was a lot better today."
Austin Peay (41-13, 21-7) built a 4-0 lead after two innings against SIUE starter Tony Schaeffer. Reed Harper hit a two-run home run in the first inning. Brett Carslon and Rolando Gautier added RBI hits in the second inning. Schaeffer fell to 2-5 with the loss. He allowed six runs over 2 1/3 innings.
The Govs led 8-1 after three frames when the Cougars used three two out hits to score twice. Skyler Geissinger and Devin Caldwell singled ahead of Highland who launched a two-run double off the top of the right field wall to make it 8-3.
"Nick continues to swing a hot bat. He's really done well the last 12-15 games," Stoecklin said. "Matt came to life today. He took some nice at-bats as well."
SIUE (16-34, 10-19) scored four times in the fifth inning against Austin Peay starter Casey Delgado. Lombardo walked to start the inning. Travis Becherer and Jacob Stewart followed with back-to-back singles. Stewart's hit drove home Lombardo. James Vazquez then doubled to drive in Becherer. Joel Greatting followed with a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Stewart. Vazquez later scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-7.
Delgado (8-2) earned the win with five innings. He allowed seven runs on eight hits.
The Govs got a two-run double from Harper in the bottom of the inning against reliever P.J. Schuster to extend the lead to 10-7. It stayed that way until the ninth inning.
Lombardo ripped a one out triple to right field, and then scored on a groundout from Becherer against Austin Peay and OVC career saves leader Tyler Rogers, who secured the 32nd save of his career.
Lombardo finished 3 for 3 with the RBI. Highland was 2 for 4 with the pair of RBIs.
Jacob Stauffenberg finished the game on the mound for the Cougars with 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out three and allowed just three hits.
"Jacob did a nice job," Stoecklin said. "He came in and made pitches. He kept us in the ballgame."
The Cougars and Governors wrap the regular season with the series finale Saturday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m.
"Throughout the majority of the season our guys have always come to play," Stoecklin said. "Regardless of who was written in the lineup or who was on the mound and with all the adversity we've had to deal with they have always come to play and played hard."