APSU Sports Information
Edwardsville, IL – For a second straight game, Austin Peay State University saw a trio of pitchers combine to post a shutout in a 7-0 Ohio Valley Conference victory against SIU Edwardsville, Friday night at the Simmons Baseball Complex.
Starter Michael Costanzo (8-1) had to work his way through the first three innings, facing 13 batters.
His biggest trouble came in the opening frame as he allowed a leadoff walk then hit a batter with one out. However, Costanzo induced a double play to end the threat.
Costanzo settled down over the next two innings, but again had to work out of trouble in the sixth. SIUE designated hitter Brock Weimer doubled with one out and left fielder Brock Hammit followed with a single, moving Weimer to third. But Costanzo again buckled down, striking out a batter before getting an inning-ending ground out.
Reliever Josh Rye, who threw six scoreless innings in a Tuesday shutout of Western Kentucky, tossed a scoreless seventh. He was followed by Ethan Clark who struck out four of the eight batters he faced to wrap up the shutout.
Austin Peay (27-19, 16-9 OVC) broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when first baseman Parker Phillips drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. The Govs doubled the lead one batter later when right fielder Nick Walker his a home run to right field.
The lead would be doubled again on one swing in the fifth when Phillips hit a line drive home run to left for two runs and a 4-0 lead. Austin Peay would add another three runs in the sixth with a pair of sac flies and a balk, setting the final score.
Phillips led the offense with a 2-for-3, three RBI night that included his season’s 16th home run. Walker hit his ninth homer of the season in a 1-for-5 outing.
SIUE starter Collin Baumgartner (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing six runs on four hits and four walks. Second baseman Aaron Jackson had the Cougars lone multi-hit outing with a 2-for-4 performance.
By following Tuesday’s shutout win against Western Kentucky with Friday’s shutout victory, Austin Peay’s pitching staff notched back-to-back shutouts for the first time since 2012. The Governors shutout Cal State Fullerton and Indiana State in its second and third games of the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament’s Eugene Regional. Governors pitchers have now tossed 20 consecutive scoreless innings during their current shutout streak that dates back to Sunday’s win against UT Martin.
Phillips Homer Tally
The fifth-inning home run was Phillips 16th in 2018, fifth most in a single-season. He joins Randy McDermott (1992), Greg Bachman (2012) and Craig Massoni (2013) as batters to hit 16 homers in a season. He is four shy of breaking the program record set by Nate Manning in 1996. He now has 28 career home runs, 11th most in program history and 10 shy of breaking the record.
Costanzo’s K Tally
Costanzo’s seven-strikeout performance at SIUE pushed him to 86 strikeouts this season. That is good for eighth-most in a single season, tied with Zach Toney (2012). He is now 14 shy of becoming the second Govs pitcher to record 100 strikeouts in a season.
First Four-Game Streak
Friday’s win was the Governors fourth consecutive win – its first four-game win streak in 2018. It is the Governors longest win streak since a four-game streak during the 2016 season (April 19-24).
Slight Move In The Standings
Each of the OVC’s top four teams, including the Governors, won their respective Friday opener, resulting in only slight movement in the standings. That slight change came as Austin Peay moved into sole possession of fourth place by one-half game over a Southeast Missouri team taking its off week from the league slate.
Up Next for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay and SIU Edwardsville continue their three-game OVC set with a 1:00pm, Saturday contest at the Simmons Baseball Complex. The Governors will send lefty Jacques Pucheu (6-1, 4.46 ERA) to the mound as they look for the series win. SIUE will counter with right-hander Kenny Serwa (3-4, 4.11 ERA), the reigning adidas® OVC Player of the Week.