APSU Men’s Baseball
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team couldn’t find the holes in the defense and lost an 8-2 non-conference contest to South Dakota State, Wednesday night, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (7-4) had plenty of well hit balls throughout the contest, but they seemingly homed in on South Dakota State (3-5) gloves. The Govs offense was held to season lows in runs (2) and hits (4) in the contest.
The lone Austin Peay offensive highlight came in the fourth when left fielder Rolando Gautier hit his season’s first home run, a two-run blast that tied the game, 2-2, at that point. However the Govs would have just one base runner the game’s remainder.
South Dakota State starter Kolton Emery (1-0) threw a complete-game effort, allowing two runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out three, but also got 11 ground outs and 11 fly outs in the win. Emery faced 17 batters through the first four innings but only 16 – one over the minimum – in the last five frames.
South Dakota State’s offense helped Emery out after he allowed the game-tying home run in the fourth, scoring three times in the fifth. Austin Peay starter Eric Davis allowed the first three batters to reach base before being lifted. Reliever Andy Cox uncorked a wild pitch early in his outing to allow a run and then surrendered a sacrifice fly and an RBI single, putting SDSU up 5-2. The Jackrabbits added three insurance runs in the ninth, all after a critical Govs error kept the inning alive.
Davis (0-1) was tagged for the loss after allowing five runs over four-plus innings. He worked out of trouble in both the first and second innings – allowing just one run each time. Davis found his stride in the third and fourth innings, retiring six of seven, before running back into trouble in the fifth.
Gautier finished the night 1-for-3 with two RBI and was one of four Govs to record a hit in the contest. Second baseman Jordan Hankins saw his 10-game hit streak come to an end with an 0-for-3 effort that included a walk and lowered his average to .590 after 11 games.
Austin Peay makes its season’s second road trip when it travels to Arkansas State for a three-game weekend series, beginning with a 6:00pm, Friday contest.