APSU Sports Information
Morehead, KY – Junior pitcher Caleb Powell matched his season-high with six innings, allowing one run, to help Austin Peay State University’s baseball team to a 6-2 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Morehead State, Saturday night at Allen Field.
Powell (5-2) kept Morehead State’s offense off-balance through four scoreless innings to start the game. He allowed just one hit in those first four frames – a lead off single in the third that he left stranded as he retired the next three batters.Austin Peay (26-16, 16-8 OVC) paid off Powell’s early performance in the fifth when they solved Morehead State starter Aaron Leasher.
The first five batters in the fifth reached base safely. Catcher Ridge Smith, the third batter of the inning, hit a line drive off Leasher that stunned the starter who saw his throw to first base sail wide.
Designated hitter Clayton Smithson scrambled home on the miscue, breaking up the scoreless tie.
After shortstop TJ Conroy walked to load the bases, second baseman Garrett Copeland laced a ground ball down the third base line for a two-run double and a 3-0 APSU lead. Two batters later left fielder Logan Gray added a fourth run on a ground out.
Powell would surrender a leadoff double to third baseman Alex Stephens in the fifth and nearly escaped the inning without surrendering the run. But Morehead State moved the runner with a ground out and Stephens scored on a wild pitch to end Powell’s shutout bid.
Powell would work in and out of trouble in the sixth as shortstop Reid Leonard and center fielder Ryan Kent each hit one-out singles.
But the Governors starter induced a fly out and pop out to end the threat.
Austin Peay recovered the run in the sixth after right fielder Chase Hamilton was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Conroy came through with two outs with an infield single that eluded the Eagles defense. The Governors tacked on their final run in the eighth as Smithson and first baseman Dre Gleason hit back-to-back doubles for a 6-1 lead.
Powell tied his season-best with six complete innings – his longest OVC start this season – holding Morehead State to one run on four hits. He did not walk any of the 22 batters he faced (four over the minimum) and struck out three.
Austin Peay needed just six hits in the win, Copeland leading the way with a 1-for-4, two RBI effort. The bottom four of the Governors order – Smithson, Gleason, Smith and Conroy – combined four four hits and two RBI.
Morehead State’s (26-19, 12-9 OVC) offense mustered six hits, Stephens’ 2-for-4 outing leading the way.
Austin Peay takes the upcoming week off for finals before hosting UT Martin in a three-game OVC series, beginning with a 6:00pm, Friday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.