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APSU Baseball splits doubleheader at Murray Racers, Saturday

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Baseball - Austin Peay State UniversityMurray, KY – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team recovered from an uneven start to split its Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader against Murray State, Saturday afternoon at Reagan Field. Murray State scored the series-opening victory, 8-6, before the Govs claimed an 8-5 victory in the nightcap.

Austin Peay Baseball loses opening game but wins the nightcap to split doubleheader Saturday against Murray State. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball loses opening game but wins the nightcap to split doubleheader Saturday against Murray State. (APSU Sports Information)

Game 1 Recap

Austin Peay (10-8, 4-1 OVC) got out to a sluggish start in the series opener.  The slow start defensively saw the Govs commit a pair of errors and a pair of other miscues, allowing Murray State to jump out to a 7-0 lead after three innings. Offensively, Austin Peay was held off the scoreboard through the first five innings despite posting five hits.

APSU Baseball - Dre GleasonThe Govs offense began its recovery in the sixth when first baseman Dre Gleason doubled with one out. Austin Peay would load the bases with two outs courtesy a walk and single. Centerfielder Imani Willis got the Govs on the board with a double that landed just inside the right field line.

Two innings later it was the bottom half of the order that struck again. Gleason led off the frame with a single and catcher Parker Phillips followed with another single. After a Murray State pitching change, right fielder Chase Hamilton walked to load the bases.

A second pitching change did not provide Murray State (10-8, 2-3 OVC) any relief. Third baseman Malcolm Tipler pushed a single through the left side for a run. Willis then landed a ball inside the right field line and it rolled into the corner for a bases-clearing triple, getting the Govs within a run, 7-6. However, Willis would not get the opportunity to tie the game when he was cut down in a line drive double play to end the inning.

Murray State would tack on an insurance run in its half of the eighth and Racers reliever Tyler Horsley would retire the Govs in order in the ninth to end the game.

APSU Baseball - Caleb PowellAustin Peay starter Caleb Powell (2-1) suffered his season’s first loss after surrendering seven runs on eight hits in three innings, but only two of those runs were earned runs.

Willis’ 2-for-4 outing included a career-high five RBI courtesy his double and triple. Tipler had the Govs other RBI as part of his 2-for-3 outing. Gleason also had three hits, including a double.

Murray State starter Ryan Dills (2-0) picked up the win after holding the Govs to four runs while scattering 10 hits over seven innings. Third baseman and leadoff hitter Kipp Moore went 3-for-5 to pace the Racers offense while five different hitters finished with an RBI.

Game 2 Recap

APSU Baseball - Alex RoblesThe nightcap was a near reversal from the opener with the Govs jumping out to an early lead. Austin Peay strung together four straight one-out hits in the first inning. Starting pitcher Alex Robles helped his own cause with a RBI single in front of Gleason’s RBI single to give the Govs a 2-0 lead. One inning later, catcher Alex Sala added to the lead with a first pitch leadoff home run.

Murray State would close the gap in the third as the first two batters reached base safely. Robles would induce back-to-back groundouts, surrendering a run with the latter. But left fielder Ryan Perkins singled to get a second run across the plate before he was picked off to end the inning.

After the teams traded runs in the fourth and fifth frames, the Govs broke the game open in the seventh. Left fielder Cayce Bredlau sparked the rally with a leadoff home run. The next two APSU hitters reached base safely without putting the ball in play and a sac bunt moved both runners in to scoring position.

The Racers again changed pitchers in front of Hamilton and again the change did not end the rally. The reliever uncorked a wild pitch to allow Robles to score before Hamilton hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the inning’s third run. Sala would then be hit by a pitch to extend the inning before shortstop Kyle Wilson laced a triple inside the right field line to extend the Govs lead to 8-3.

Murray State would scratch out runs in both the seventh and ninth innings, but was unable to bring the tying run to the plate.

Robles (3-2) picked up his second straight victory after allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings. Six different Govs finished with a RBI in the contest while Bredlau’s 2-for-5 outing was the Govs only multi-hit outing.

Racers starter Austin Dubsky (2-3) was tagged for the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) over six innings. Perkins would end the game 3-for-5 with RBI singles in the third, fifth and seventh innings as he posted three RBI.

Who Governed: Game 1

Center fielder Imani Willis led the Govs late rally in Game 1 with RBI base hits in the sixth and eighth innings. His two-run double in the sixth broke up the shutout bid. Two innings later, his bases-clearing triple slashed the Govs deficit to one run, 7-6. Willis finished the game 2-for-4 with five RBI.  

Who Governed: Game 2

Catcher Alex Sala and left fielder Cayce Bredlau each had crucial leadoff home runs in the nightcap. Sala’s home run on the first pitch of the second inning put the Govs ahead 3-0 and proved pivotal when Murray State scored two runs in the third. Bredlau’s seventh-inning blast gave the Govs a key insurance run at 5-3 and kicked off a four-run rally.  

Notably

Gleason Keeps Plugging Away
First baseman Dre Gleason, who entered the game as the OVC’s leading hitter, opened the series with a 3-for-5 outing. He posted his fourth hit of the series with his first at-bat of Game 2 and the Racers then challenged any other Govs hitter to do the damage as they walked Gleason in three of his final four plate appearances. He finished the day 4-for-7 with three walks (.700 on-base percentage).

Unsung Kelly
The Governors turned to freshman reliever Landon Kelly to stifle the Racers after they jumped out to a 7-0 lead in Game 1. Kelly responded with four scoreless innings on the mound, scattering four this. It was by far his longest outing this season, topping the 1.2 innings he pitched Wednesday at Tennessee. He lowered his ERA to 1.23 with the outing.

Willis’ Big Outing
Willis’ five-RBI outing in Game 1 made hit the third Govs hitter with five or more RBI in a game this season, joining Gleason (vs. Middle Tennessee) and Kelly (at North Carolina State).

Back On The Home Run Train
The Govs were held without a home run in Saturday’s opener but found their groove in Game 2 as Bredlau and Sala each hit leadoff home runs. They were the Govs 31st and 32nd home runs this season in just 18 games. They remain three home runs ahead of the pace set by the record-setting 2001 team.

Gio Gathering Speed
Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli continued his March march with two hits in the opener and another hit in the nightcap. He now has 15 hits in 44 at-bats during the month.

The 4-1 Start
The Govs recorded four wins in their first five OVC games for the second time in three seasons, equaling the mark set by the 2015 squad. Austin Peay ended the day one-game behind the league-leading pace set by Tennessee Tech and Morehead State, who each ended the day 5-0 in league play.

Next Up for APSU Baseball

Austin Peay and Murray State wrap up the three-game set with a 1:00pm, Sunday contest at Reagan Field.


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