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Govs down Colonels in series finale, win second-straight OVC series

 

APSU Men’s Baseball

Austin Peay State University GovernorsClarksville, TN – Austin Peay saw a pair of early leads vanish, but built a third lead and held on for an 8-6 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Eastern Kentucky, Sunday, at Raymond C. Hand Park. The Govs won their second consecutive OVC series, 2-1, for the first time since the 2008 season.

Austin Peay (15-15, 5-3 OVC) led 1-0 after the first and 4-2 after the second inning only to watch Eastern Kentucky wipe out the lead and tie the game 4-4 after the top of the fourth.

Shortstop Reed Harper had two hits and two RBI in the Govs victory against Eastern Kentucky, Sunday. (Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)

Shortstop Reed Harper had two hits and two RBI in the Govs victory against Eastern Kentucky, Sunday. (Mateen Sidiq/Austin Peay)


The Govs took the lead for good in its half of the fourth. Catcher Matt Wollenzin began the rally after he reached base on a two-base error. Shortstop Reed Harper was hit by a pitch and Hankins singled, scoring the go-ahead run and chasing EKU starter Stephen Hefler from the mound.  Left fielder Cody Hudson kept the rally going with a run-scoring single. The Govs would load the bases again – while chasing two more EKU pitcher – but could not capitalize and led 6-4 after four inning.

Eastern Kentucky (10-21, 3-6) threatened in the fifth after third baseman Bryan Soloman reached on an infield error. Austin Peay starter Zach Toney struck out the next two batters, but surrendered back-to-back singles, the first scoring a run, before recording a third strikeout to end the threat with APSU holding an 6-5 lead.

Greg BachmanAustin Peay got some much needed insurance in the seventh. Third baseman Greg Bachman and first baseman John Hogan singled back-to-back with one out. Designated hitter Tyler Childress reached on an infield error that could have been a double play but instead allowed the eventual game-winning run to score and kept the inning going. Shortstop Reed Harper made EKU pay for the miscue with his two-out double that wrapped up the Govs scoring.

Governors closer Ryne Harper came on in the ninth and – after allowing back-to-back doubles to start the inning – struck out the side to record his season’s fourth save.

Toney (3-2) picked up his second win of the week after allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out seven over six innings. Reliever Mike Hebert tossed two scoreless innings to bridge the gap between Toney and Harper.

Ryne HarperThe Govs offense posted 10 hits in the victory, Bachman and Harper each posting two hits. Harper and outfielder Cody Hudson each had two RBI.

Eastern Kentucky starter Stephen Hefler (3-4) suffered through an inconsistent outing, allowing six runs on five hits while striking out three over 3.1 innings to pick up the loss.

Colonels’ shortstop Richie Rodriguez went 2-for-4 in the series finale and finished the series with nine hits while reaching base safely in 11 of 14 plate appearances. He was one of four EKU players with two hits in Sunday’s loss.

Austin Peay returns to action with a 6:00pm, Tuesday non-conference contest against Western Kentucky.


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