APSU Sports Information
Nashville, TN – For the first time since March 2015, Austin Peay State University’s baseball team was shutout as Belmont starter Andrew Quillen tossed seven shutout innings in a 15-0 Ohio Valley Conference decision, Friday night at E.S. Rose Park.
Quillen stole the show from the game’s outset as he retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced, striking out eight.Only starting center fielder Chase Hamilton avoided the strikeout bug over the opening four innings, earning a two-out walk in the second.
Austin Peay (19-13, 10-6 OVC) would get its best scoring opportunity in the fifth inning as Quillen battled his control. The Bruins starter would walk the bases loaded, but Austin Peay still could not break through as he struck out the side around the trio of walks.
Belmont (20-13, 9-4 OVC) had no problems offensively, opening the game with three consecutive extra-base hits against APSU starter Alex Robles. Left fielder Tyler Fullerton capped the rally with a two-run double, giving the Bruins a quick 2-0 lead. One inning later, Fullerton’s two-out bloop fly eluded the Govs defense, driving in three runs to break the game open.
The only drama left in the contest was Quillen’s bid for a no-hitter. Austin Peay pinch hitter Logan Gray brought that bid to an end with a leadoff single in the seventh. Quillen would surrender a second base hit to pinch hitter Caleb Mitchell, but appropriately ended his outing with a strikeout to end the seventh.
Quillen (5-2) held the Govs scoreless over seven innings, allowing two hits and four walks while striking out 16. He struck out the side three times in the contest, including in order in the sixth. It was the most strikeouts recorded by an individual pitcher since Vanderbilt alumnus David Price struck out 17 Governors hitters in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
Fullerton led Belmont’s offense with a 3-for-4, five RBI performance, adding a RBI single in the sixth inning before his day ended. First baseman Chas Hadden went 3-for-3 with three RBI. The Bruins finished with 16 hits.
Robles (6-3) suffered his roughest outing of the season, surrendering 10 runs (nine earned) on 12 hits and two walks over 5.1 innings.
Austin Peay’s defense was its lone bright spot, turning a program-record five double plays in the contest – three ending innings. Second baseman Garrett Copeland and shortstop Clayton Smithson combined on all five of the twin killings.
Austin Peay will seek to bounce back when it continues the three-game OVC set against Belmont with a 1:00pm, Saturday contest at E.S. Rose Park.