Edwardsville, IL – An explosive sixth inning that saw both teams combine for 16 runs proved to be the difference as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team dropped a 17-11 Ohio Valley Conference contest to SIU Edwardsville, in Game 1 of a Saturday doubleheader, at Simmons Baseball Complex.
Austin Peay (15-23, 7-7 OVC) trailed 4-3 entering the sixth inning and the inning got off to an uneven start with second baseman Gino Avros singling to start the inning before a fly out. But first baseman Ty DeLancey singled and catcher Jack Alexander reached on a fielder’s choice that saw DeLancey stay alive courtesy an error.
SIUE (17-18, 5-7 OVC) responded with an big inning of its own. But that outburst almost didn’t materialize as Govs starter Harley Gollert followed second baseman Drew Mize’s leadoff single with back-to-back fly outs to get in sight of a scoreless frame.
The Cougars fought off the third out with left fielder Richie Well hitting a ground-rule double that appeared to benefit the Govs by preventing a run from scoring. But the relief was short-lived as third baseman Connor Kiffer hit a three-run home run and the Cougars closed within two runs at 9-7.
Then SIUE badgered Austin Peay State University with a litany of singles to load the bases again. Catcher Steven Pattan provide a two-run single that tied the game. Mize returned to the plate and drove in the go-ahead run, 10-9, with an infield single.
Center fielder Brett Johnson followed with another RBI single before a wild pitch allowed another run to score for a 12-9 advantage. Well came to the plate again and closed the inning’s scoring with a two-run single and the Cougars held a 14-9 lead they would not relinquish.
Robinson led the APSU Govs with a 3-for-5, seven RBI performance that was the first seven RBI outing by a Governor since Parker Phillips in 2018 and included a two-run home run in the fourth inning. McDonald was 2-for-4 with three RBI and walked twice.
First baseman Brennan Orf hit solo home runs in the second and fourth innings to finish the game 2-for-2 with two RBI and three runs scored with two walks. Johnson was 3-for-6 with a home run and three RBI. After hitting a program-record eight home runs in Friday’s series opener, the Cougars added five home runs in Game 2 of the set.
SIUE starter Kaid Karnes (4-3) benefited from the fifth-inning outburst picking up the win after allowing nine runs (five earned) on eight hits while striking out seven batters.
Austin Peay State University starter Harley Gollert (2-4) took the loss after allowing 12 runs on 12 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings.
The Govs and Cougars conclude their three-game series with Game 2 of the Saturday doubleheader.