APSU Sports Information
Jacksonville, AL – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team had the first word but could not ultimately match the response of Jacksonville State in an 8-5 Ohio Valley Conference loss, Saturday, at Rudy Abbott Field.
The game was a study in creating scoring opportunities and capitalizing on those chances.
Ultimately, it was Jacksonville State that produced more chances to score and was able to generate runs from those opportunities.
Meanwhile, Austin Peay relied on home runs to generate the majority of its scoring.
The first two innings proved the game-long story line. Austin Peay (9-8, 3-2 OVC) got on the board first when second baseman Garrett Copeland led off the game with a single. Two batters later, catcher Ridge Smith drove a home run to left field, giving APSU the early two-run lead.
Jacksonville State (12-5, 5-0 OVC) responded in its half of the first when center fielder Gavin Golsan walked to start the inning. JSU would load the bases with a single and a Govs error.
Austin Peay starter Michael Costanzo got on the verge of ending the threat with a strikeout and fly out and seemed to end the inning with a slow chopper up the middle. However, the throw pulled APSU’s first baseman off the bag, allowing a run to score. Costanzo then got a foul out to end the threat.
Costanzo would not be so fortunate in the second. He would strike out the side but not before allowing three runs. The Gamecocks opened the inning with a double and outfielder Peyton Williams tied the game with a triple. Second baseman Clayton Daniel gave JSU the lead with a RBI single then first baseman Tyler Gamble added a two-out RBI double, giving the Gamecocks a 4-2 lead before Costanzo ended the inning.
Austin Peay would use the long ball again in the fourth when right fielder Kyle Blackburn hit a one-out solo home run. But the Govs could not post a corresponding shutout inning as the Gamecocks got the leadoff hitter aboard again and ultimately scored two runs for a 6-3 lead.
The Govs scored again in the fifth when third baseman Clayton Smithson led off the frame with a triple and scored on a passed ball. But JSU saw the first four batters in the bottom of the inning reach base, shortstop Taylor Hawthone supplying a RBI double to reestablish the three-run lead and Austin Peay would not threaten again.
The Govs bullpen allowed two runs over the final four innings, highlighted by CJ Burrow escaping a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the fifth without allowing an additional run.
Austin Peay was held to seven hits, with seven different hitters supplying one hit each. Smith and Blackburn each went 1-for-3 to pace the offense.
The Gamecocks offense posted 12 hits, with only six hitters posting a hit. Hawthorne led the way with a 3-for-4 outing.
Daniel, Gamble, third baseman Josh Bobo and Williams had two hits each.
Austin Peay and Jacksonville State will close out their three-game OVC series with a 1:00pm, Sunday contest.
Austin Peay (9-8 / 3-2 OVC) vs. Jacksonville State (12-5 / 5-0 OVC)
W: Jack Pierce (2-0) L: COSTANZO, Michael (3-1)
Austin Peay 5
Jacksonville State 8