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APSU Sports: Austin Peay Baseball
Clarksville, TN – A flurry of late defensive miscues cost Austin Peay State University’s baseball team as it dropped its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference outing in a 13-7 loss to Murray State, Friday night at Raymond C. Hand Park.Austin Peay (20-13, 7-2 OVC) suffered its worst defensive outing – committing six errors – since a six-error outing on April 27th, 2008 at Southeast Missouri. The Govs committed four errors in the ninth inning alone – the first time since May 8th, 2010 at Tennessee Tech they had accomplished that unpleasant feat.
The Govs entered the ninth inning trailing by one run, 8-7, and head coach Gary McClure inserted reliever Zane Leffew to try and hold the deficit there. However, Leffew hit third baseman Brandon Elliott to start the inning.
Murray State (18-17, 4-6 OVC) immediately set about trying to manufacture an insurance run. The Thoroughbreds next two batters each put down sacrifice bunt attempts, but the Govs defense was unable to handle the bunts. Catcher P.J. Torres threw the first bunt attempt short of the bag at first followed by Leffew, who threw the ball into the runner’s back at first on the next bunt attempt. With the bases loaded, the Govs brought the infield in to try and prevent the run, but were unsuccessful at center fielder Paul Ritzheimer singled through the infield, scoring the inning’s run.
Austin Peay’s defense continued to struggle in the inning. Matt Wollenzin, who entered the game at first base in the 9th, misplayed left fielder Ty Stetson’s ground ball down the first-base line, allowing two runs to score. That play ended Leffew’s night on the mound as all five batters he faced reached base – three courtesy an APSU error.
Reliever Chuck Edlin entered the game and walked the first batter he faced before getting the inning’s first out by striking out catcher Jacob Rhodes. Second baseman Jordan Hankins made a nice diving play to record the inning’s second out, but a fifth run scored. Austin Peay would later commit a fourth error in the frame as Wollenzin lost contact with first base on another Murray State bunt. But Edlin would eventually get the innings third out without another run scoring.
Hankins had a big hand in the Govs offensive effort, finishing the night 2-for-3 with three RBI and two doubles. His first-inning double scored the game’s first run, giving Austin Peay the early lead.
After Murray State tied the game in the second, right fielder Rolando Gautier broke the tie with a two-run home run to right field, giving APSU a 3-1 lead.
Austin Peay starter Ryan Quick struggled in the second, third and fourth innings – allowing five of his seven runs in that stretch. He allowed a run after the Govs first error of the night in the second. Quick then allowed a run in the third after giving up a one-out walk, followed by a single and a wild pitch.
Quick surrendered the lead in the fourth, allowing the first five batters of the inning to reach base safely. After he allowed another run on a wild pitch, Murray State right fielder Colton Speed had an RBI single and shortstop Travis Isaak later reached on an error by third baseman Greg Bachman that allowed the third run to score, giving Murray State the 5-3 lead.
Starting first baseman Tyler Childress immediately got one of those runs back when he led off the bottom of the fourth with a home run. Austin Peay tied the game in the sixth courtesy designated hitter Jon Clinard’s single that bounded over a drawn-in ‘Breds infield, scoring center fielder Michael Blanchard.
Murray State would rebuild its lead in the eighth, putting four runners on base with one out. Stetson delivered the big blow with a two-run double. First baseman Mike Kozlowski provided what proved to be the game-winning RBI with a single up the middle.
Hankins got Austin Peay to within one run with a two-out, two-run double. However, he was left stranded at second when shortstop Reed Harper struck out to end the threat.
Hankins was joined in multi-hit territory by center fielder Michael Blanchard who went 2-for-4 from the leadoff spot. Austin Peay was held to eight hits in the contest.
Murray State second baseman Dylan Wheeler and right fielder Colton Speed each had three hits to pace the Murray State offense. Those two, joined by center fielder Paul Ritzheimer, batted in the bottom third of the Murray State order but posted eight of the team’s 13 hits.
Reliever Alex Gordon (3-1) picked up the win after allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits over 4.1 innings. ‘Breds starter Alex Gordon allowed four runs on five walks and four hits over the first 3.2 innings.
Austin Peay and Murray State continue their three-game conference series with a 2:00pm, Saturday contest.
Murray State at Austin Peay
TopicsAlex Gordon, APSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Baseball, APSU Men's Baseball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Brandon Elliott, Chuck Edlin, Clarksville TN, Colton Speed, Gary McClure, Governors, Govs, Greg Bachman, Jon Clinard, Jordan Hankins, Matt Wollenzin, Michael Blanchard, Mike Kozlowski, Murray State, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, P.J. Torres, Paul Ritzheimer, Racers, Raymond C. Hand Park, Reed Harper, Rolando Gautier, Ryan quick, Southeast Missouri, Tennessee Tech, Travis Isaak, Ty Stetson, Tyler Childress, Tyler Rogers, Zane Leffew
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