Austin Peay Sports Information
Memphis, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team scored the game’s final seven runs to post a come-from-behind 9-7, 10-inning victory against Memphis, Tuesday night, in nonconference action at FedEx Park.
Trailing 7-2 after seven innings, Austin Peay (19-12) began its comeback when third baseman Alex Robles singled to start the eighth.
Then Memphis gave APSU its first assist when its pitcher uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Robles to score.
Shortstop Clayton Smithson followed with a single down the first base line that allowed Gray to score, slashing the deficit to 7-4.
The Governors kept the pressure up in a wild ninth inning that saw the first three batters reach base without a hit.
First baseman Dre Gleason hit a sharp ground ball to first base where it got by the defender, allowing two runs to score. Robles then reached out and squibbed a ground ball past the pitcher, allowing utility man Ridge Smith to score, tying the game.
A series of Memphis miscues in the 10th sealed its fate. Outfielder Kyle Blackburn reached on a fielder’s choice then escaped being put out on the basepaths twice as the Tigers committed a pair of defensive miscues. Memphis appeared to escape the jam when Copeland grounded up the middle, but again the ball eluded the defense, allowing Blackburn to score the go-ahead run. Copeland would later score on outfielder Imani Willis‘ single, setting the final score.
Senior closer Jared Carkuff (3-0) closed the door, limiting Memphis to a single in the ninth and a walk in the 10th in his two scoreless innings of relief. It capped a stretch of five scoreless innings by the Austin Peay bullpen, with sophomore Ricky Heagarty, sophomore Zach Neff and freshman CJ Burrow combining to hold the Tigers
The Govs outburst erased an impressive start by the Memphis (12-20) offense, which jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first five innings. Middle infielder Brandon Grudzielanek got the Tigers on the board in the first inning with a two-run single. He also supplied Memphis’ final run with a RBI single in the fifth.
Austin Peay needed just nine hits in the win as it earned a season-best nine walks. Gleason and Smith each recorded three walks in the contest.
Chase Hamilton had the Govs lone multi-hit outing with a 2-for-5 performance that also included APSU’s only extra base hit – a sixth-inning leadoff double.
Memphis finished with 11 hits, Grudzielanek posting a 2-for-4, three RBI performance to lead the effort.
Austin Peay returns to Ohio Valley Conference action when it face Belmont in a three-game set starting with a 4:00pm, Friday contest at E.S. Rose Park in Nashville, TN. The third-place Govs hold a slim one-half game lead over the fourth-place Bruins entering the weekend series.