Austin Montgomery drove in two runs
Feb. 26, 2013
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Southern Illinois lost a wild game to Austin Peay, 11-8, Tuesday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. Offense ruled the day as the two teams combined to use 12 pitchers who issued a total of 20 walks on a cold, wet evening.
The Salukis (4-4) battled back from deficits of 3-1 and 5-3 early in the game but could not shut down the offense of Austin Peay (7-1).
“We never quit,” SIU Coach Ken Henderson said. “We battled right up until the last out of the game, and we truly thought we were going to come back and win it. We just couldn’t get a stop. We swung it extremely well, but we just weren’t able to throw up enough zeros today.”
Both pitching staffs struggled to put a zero on the scoreboard as at least one run was scored in every single half inning from the top of the fifth through the top of the eighth.
APSU took the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth inning with a four-run rally to break a 5-5 tie. The rally was aided by four walks and two wild pitches.
SIU had battled back from a 5-3 deficit to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the inning. Austin Montgomery led off the inning with a double. After Cody Daily drew a walk to put two on with no outs, Brock Harding attempted a sacrifice bunt. However, pitcher Ryan Quick fielded the ball and threw it past the third baseman to score Montgomery and move Daily to third. After the Salukis loaded the bases, Daily scored on Jake Welch’s sac fly to tie it
SIU loaded the bases in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. In those four innings the Salukis scored a respectable total of six runs but stranded 10 baserunners.
“We hit a lot of balls hard,” Montgomery said. “We scored a lot of runs, but things didn’t quite bounce our way when it came down to it.”
Reliever Brad Drust took the loss for the Salukis. He retired the only batter he faced in the fifth inning. However he pitched to three Governors in the sixth, and all three reached base and scored. Drust began the inning with a pair of walks. The next batter, Jordan Hankins doubled, and Drust departed the game. He fell to 1-1 with the loss.
The Salukis used two more pitchers in the inning and seven total in the game. SIU issued 12 walks in eight innings of work. In the first seven games of the season, SIU pitchers had averaged fewer than four walks per nine innings.
“Those are guys who we know can pound the zone,” Henderson said. “We just had a bad day today, and I have all the confidence in the world that those guys will continue to pound the zone. We just didn’t execute today.”
Quick allowed two earned runs in an inning and two thirds for the Governors but still took the victory.
Saluki Bryce Sablotny started the game with two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. With two outs and nobody on, Rolando Gautier drew a walk and Kevin Cory singled to put runners on the corners. Hankins singled home Gautier to tie the game at 1-1. Reed Harper drew a walk to load the bases, and Craig Massoni hit a single that slowed down in the marshland of center field long enough to score a pair of runs and give APSU a 3-1 lead.
Massoni went three-for-four with six RBI in the game. His two run homer in the bottom of the fifth broke a 3-3 tie and knocked Sablotny out of the game. Sablotny allowed five runs, four of them earned, off six hits in four and a third innings.
The Saluki offense had a balanced attack. Four hitters had multi-hit games, and seven players scored a run.
“Our effort was tremendous,” Henderson said. “It was probably the best effort we’ve had all year. The bottom line is we walked 11 people in six and a third and hit a couple guys. You can’t give a team like that that many free passes.”