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Austin Peay Governors Baseball’s Zach Toney pitches eight-inning masterpiece to down Jacksonville State Gamecocks in series opener

 

APSU Sports: Austin Peay Baseball

Clarksville Sports NetworkClarksville, TN – For just the second time this season, Governors skipper Gary McClure gave the ball to Zach Toney for a Friday night start as the Austin Peay Baseball team welcomed the Jacksonville State Gamecocks for a three-game weekend series at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Wise move.

Starter Zach Toney threw eight scoreless innings as Austin Peay downed Jacksonville State, Friday. Austin Peay Baseball. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

Starter Zach Toney threw eight scoreless innings as Austin Peay downed Jacksonville State, Friday. Austin Peay Baseball. (Courtesy: Brittney Sparn/APSU Sports Information)

Toney turned in his most dominant performance of the season, allowing just one hit and striking out eight over eight innings as the Govs cruised to a 5-2 series-opening win.

After walking the bases loaded in the first inning, Toney worked his way out of a jam and promptly retired eight of the next nine batters before retiring the next 14 batters faced.

“The first inning was kind of rough,” Toney said. “My arm has felt great the last couple of weekends and I just wanted to let it go and see what it could do. It didn’t work out so well so I decided to let off and settle in and it turned out pretty well.”

Zach ToneyAfter an exact one-hour severe weather delay, Toney made the first OVC Friday night start of his career, overpowering a Gamecocks lineup that entered the series batting .271.

“Zach is one of those rare guys that can just get people out with his fastball,” McClure said. “The way he throws it he hides and it’s just tough to locate out of his hand. It’s got some light movement and he can really dominate teams when he’s right with his fastball.”

Greg BachmanAfter suffering consecutive no-decisions despite quality starts, Toney picked up the win (3-2) while also making virtually every other player on the team’s job easier.

“It’s so much fun to be able to just sit back and watch him work when he’s dialed in like this,” Govs third baseman Greg Bachman said. “He had his stuff from the second inning on and he made it really easy. He was dominating out there.”

The Govs got Toney some run support early when Michael Blanchard roped a leadoff single and advanced to second on a fielding error from Gamecocks shortstop Cody Blanchard.

One batter later, Jon Clinard drove in Blanchard after a throwing error from Gamecocks pitcher Aaron Elias.

The Govs would strike again in the bottom of the third when Bachman singled home Reed Harper, giving the Govs a 2-0 lead while extending his eight-game hitting streak.

The bottom of the seventh would also prove fruitful for the Govs, who tacked on a trio of runs behind an RBI double from Harper and an two-run double from Bachman – who was visibly limping after a sharp foul ball to his left leg during his previous at-bat in the fifth.

Despite the injury, Bachman finished the game but admitted he’ll probably feel some real pain in the morning.

Members of the Governors celebrate after scoring a run earlier this season. The Govs defeated Jacksonville State 5-2 in their series opener Friday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. Austin Peay Baseball.

Members of the Governors celebrate after scoring a run earlier this season. The Govs defeated Jacksonville State 5-2 in their series opener Friday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. Austin Peay Baseball.

“The coaches asked me if I wanted to come out,” Bachman said with a sheepish grin. “And I said absolutely not. It will hurt like heck in the morning, but I wasn’t coming out of this game.”

After eight dominant innings, McClure turned the ball over the Govs bullpen, sending out reliever Mike Hebert.

After issuing a leadoff double, Hebert pulled within a strike of recording a shutout ninth inning before Gamecocks designated hitter Erik Underwood roped a two-run homer over the right field wall.

Despite the homer, McClure kept Hebert on the mound and the right-hander promptly struck out Gamecocks catcher Cal Lambert to end the game and give the Govs another series-opening win.

“These guys are tremendous competitors,” McClure said. “They show up to the ballpark ready to play each and every single day. From top to bottom everyone does their part and they did it again tonight.”

With the win, the Govs (26-15, 12-3 OVC) pulled within another weekend win of a second-consecutive series win over the traditionally strong Gamecocks (16-23, 10-6).

Ryan Quick (4-1, 4.41 ERA) is expected to get the start on the mound tomorrow afternoon for the Govs while left-hander Daniel Watts (3-5, 5.68) is expected to throw for the Gamecocks.

First pitch is set for 2:00pm at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Box Score

Jacksonville State at Austin Peay
April 27th, 2012 at Clarksville, TN (Raymond C. Hand Park)

Jacksonville State 2 (16-23,10-6 OVC)
Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
Coty Blanchard ss 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0
Scott Underwood lf 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0
Sam Eberle 3b 4 1 1 0 0 1 3 4 0
Ben Waldrip 1b 4 0 0 0 0 0 6 1 1
Kyle Bluestein rf/cf 3 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0
Erik Underwood dh 4 1 2 2 0 0 0 0 3
Cal Lambert c 4 0 0 0 0 3 10 1 0
Kyle Stone 2b 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 1
Michael Bishop cf 2 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0
Michael Flores ph/rf 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Aaron Elias p 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Tanner Freshour p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bradley Raulston p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Casey Antley p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 30 2 3 2 4 9 24 7 5
Austin Peay 5 (26-15,12-3 OVC)
Player ab r h rbi bb so po a lob
BLANCHARD, Michael cf 4 1 2 0 1 1 2 0 0
CLINARD, Jon dh 3 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 3
HANKINS, Jordan 2b 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 2 0
HARPER, Reed ss 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 0
BACHMAN, Greg 3b 4 0 2 3 0 1 0 0 2
HUDSON, Cody lf 4 0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0
TORRES, P.J. c 4 0 0 0 0 3 9 0 2
CHILDRESS, Tyler 1b 4 0 1 0 0 2 8 2 0
GAUTIER, Rolando rf 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 1
TONEY, Zach p 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0
HEBERT, Mike p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Totals 31 5 10 4 6 9 27 9 8
Score by Innings                    R  H  E
-------------------------------------------
Jacksonville State.. 000 000 002 -  2  3  2
Austin Peay......... 101 000 30X -  5 10  0
-------------------------------------------
E – BLANCHARD,Co(13); ELIAS,Aaron(1). DP – JSU 2. LOB – JSU 5; APSU 8. 2B – EBERLE,Sam(11); HARPER, Re.(12). HR – UNDERWOOD,Er(5). SB – UNDERWOOD,Sc(4); UNDERWOOD,Er(2); HUDSON, C. 3(16); CHILDRESS, T(3); GAUTIER, R.(5). CS – BLANCHARD, M(4).

 

Jacksonville State ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
Aaron Elias L,2-5 5.2 7 2 1 3 8 1 0 0 0 23 26 4 4 109
Tanner Freshour 0.2 2 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 0 1 19
Bradley Raulston 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 4 1 1 12
Casey Antley 0.2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 1 11
Austin Peay ip h r er bb so wp bk hbp ibb ab bf fo go np
TONEY, Zach W,3-2 8.0 1 0 0 4 8 0 0 0 0 25 29 8 8 128
HEBERT, Mike 1.0 2 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 2 16

 

Win – TONEY, Z. (3-2). Loss – ELIAS,Aaron (2-5). Save – None. WP – ELIAS,Aaron(3); ANTLEY,Casey(2). Inherited runners/scored: FRESHOUR,Tan 1/0; RAULSTON,Bra 2/2. Pitches/strikes: ELIAS,Aaron 109/61; FRESHOUR,Tan 19/9; RAULSTON,Bra 12/7; ANTLEY,Casey 11/5; TONEY, Z. 128/82; HEBERT, M. 16/12. Umpires – HP: Donald Gilmore 1B: Jackie Cayson 3B: Michael Williamson
Start: 7:00pm Time: 2:51 Attendance: 262

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