APSU Men’s Baseball
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay’s baseball team opened Ohio Valley Conference play splitting a doubleheader at Murray State, Sunday. The Govs won the opener, 5-2, before falling in the nightcap, 3-2.
Austin Peay (10-11, 1-1 OVC) struck first in the opener, scoring twice in the third inning on RBI singles by catcher Matt Wollenzin and left fielder Jon Clinard.However, the lead did not last long as Murray State (8-14, 1-1) rallied for a pair of runs in its half of the third courtesy RBI singles by second baseman Travis Isaak and catcher Jacob Rhodes, tying the game.
The Govs took advantage of a Thoroughbreds miscue in the third, right fielder Rolando Gautier reaching base after an infield error. After Gautier stole second, third baseman Greg Bachman singled to bring him home, giving APSU a 3-2 lead. That lead grew on the next pitch as designated hitter Tyler Childress hit a line drive home run – his season’s first – to right field, giving APSU a 5-2 advantage.
Austin Peay starter Jeremy Dobbs (5-0) made that lead hold as he held Murray State scoreless over the next two-plus innings and picked up the win after allowing two runs over 5.1 innings, striking out three.
Relievers Chuck Edlin and Ryne Harper closed out the contest. Edlin shut the door after inheriting two runners in the sixth while Harper working in and out of a jam in the seventh to record his second save this season.
Murray State starter Lance Beers (2-3) suffered the OVC-opening loss after allowing five runs over 3.1 innings.
Austin Peay jumped out first in the day’s second game, manufacturing a run in the second. Gautier and Childress opened the inning with back-to-back singles. Catcher P.J. Torres sacrificed the runs over and center fielder Michael Blanchard drove home a run on a sacrifice fly.
One inning later, Murray State pestered Austin Peay starter Jack Snodgrass with four consecutive one out singles – shortstop Brandon Elliott and Isaak posting RBI hits – and, after a second out, a fifth single by right fielder Zach Noonan that drove home the eventual winning run.
The Govs saw a run-scoring opportunity turned away in the fourth as Torres and Blanchard reached base with two outs. Left fielder Jon Clinard rapped a single to left field and Torres was sent home on the play only to be caught out at home by a picture-perfect throw by the left fielder.
Austin Peay closed to within one in the fifth as shortstop Reed Harper led off the inning with a double. Bachman moved him to third on a fly out and first baseman John Hogan brought him home with a sacrifice fly. But Harper’s hit was the Govs final hit of the contest as Murray State starter Jake Donze retired nine straight batters to end the game.
Donze (3-1) earned the victory after limiting the Govs to two runs on six hits in his seven-inning, complete-game effort.
Snodgrass (0-3) lost his third straight outing after allowing three runs on eight hits over 3.2 innings.
Austin Peay begins a six-game homestand when it hosts Middle Tennessee in a 6:00pm, Wednesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.