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HomeSportsAPSU Governors Baseball falls at No. 8 Vanderbilt, 8-5

APSU Governors Baseball falls at No. 8 Vanderbilt, 8-5

APSU Sports Information

APSU Baseball - Austin Peay State UniversityNashville, TN – Second baseman Garrett Copeland and right fielder Chase Hamilton each hit home runs, but Austin Peay State University’s baseball team surrendered three late runs in an 8-5 loss to No. 8 Vanderbilt, Tuesday afternoon at Hawkins Field.

Austin Peay (25-14) got off to a quick start as Copeland hit a leadoff home run on the game’s second pitch from Vanderbilt’s Donny Everett.

Austin Peay Baseball has two home runs in 8-5 loss to Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday in Nashville. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball has two home runs in 8-5 loss to Vanderbilt Commodores Tuesday in Nashville. (APSU Sports Information)

But Everett would quickly settle in to the game and retired 11 consecutive batters before allowing a two-out single to APSU first baseman Dre Gleason in the fourth.

Vanderbilt (31-10) would rally to five runs during that scoreless stretch. The Commodores took the lead with shortstop Connor Kaiser’s two-run, two-out double. Right fielder Jeren Kendall followed with a RBI single to put Vanderbilt ahead, 3-1. One inning later, first baseman Julian Infante extended the Vanderbilt advantage with a two-run home run to center field.

APSU Baseball's Garrett CopelandThe Governors couldn’t solve Everett and reliever Evan Steele proved difficult to figure out for two innings, as he retired the first six batters he faced, pushing the Commodores scoreless streak to five innings.

The middle of Austin Peay’s order figured out the Commodores reliever in the seventh as the first four batters of the frame reached base. Left fielder Logan Gray led off with a single and first baseman Dre Gleason followed with a walk. Designated hitter Alex Robles drove in a run with a single.

After a Vanderbilt visit to the mound, right fielder Chase Hamilton drove the next Steele offering over the wall in right field to tie the game, 5-5. Vanderbilt turned to reliever Matt Ruppenthal who stemmed the Austin Peay rally by retiring three consecutive batters to end the frame.

APSU Baseball's Chase HamiltonThe tie game would not last long as Vanderbilt manufactured a run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to some Austin Peay assistance. Center fielder Bryan Reynolds walked to start the fame and advanced to second on a passed ball. He would get to third base on a foul ball out which ended reliever Zach Neff‘s outing.

Stopper Jared Carkuff entered the game but surrendered a flare single that got just over the Governors drawn-in infield, allowing Reynolds to score and break the tie.

Carkuff would be the victim of misfortune again in the eighth as a two-out fly ball eluded the Govs defense and hop over the fence for a run-scoring double. Designated hitter Ethan Paul added another double to push the Vanderbilt lead to 8-3.

Austin Peay would have opportunities to score with two outs in both the eighth and ninth innings. In the ninth, shortstop Clayton Smithson doubled down the third base line to give APSU two runners in scoring position with one out. Vanderbilt closer Ben Bowden needed just one more pitch to end the game with a ground out to first base.

Neff (1-5) was the Govs hard-luck loser, allowing one unearned run on three hits in 2.1 innings. Sparks went four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits.

APSU Baseball's Clayton SmithsonAustin Peay scattered six hits through the contest, Hamilton’s three-run home run proving to be the team’s biggest shot. It was his fifth home run in his last seven games.

Kendall led Vanderbilt with a 3-for-5, two RBI performance. The Commodores lead off hitter was followed by Paul and Reynolds who had two hits each. Vanderbilt finished with 15 hits on the day.

Ruppenthal picked up the win in relief after tossing two scoreless innings. Bowden notched his season’s ninth save with a scoreless ninth. Everett was left with no decision in his first career start, allowing one run on two hits in four innings.

Austin Peay returns home for a 6:00pm, Wednesday contest against Evansville.


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