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Caleb Powell’s strong outing powers APSU Baseball to 6-5 win over UT Martin

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Baseball - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Junior starting pitcher Caleb Powell pieced together his longest outing of 2016 to help Austin Peay State University’s baseball team post a 6-5 Ohio Valley Conference victory against UT Martin, Sunday afternoon.

The Governors clinched the three-game OVC series, 2-1.

Austin Peay Baseball beats UT Martin Skyhawks 6-5 Sunday at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball beats UT Martin Skyhawks 6-5 Sunday at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Powell (6-2) battled through a tough start that saw him surrender a run in the second and two runs in the fourth as the middle of the Skyhawks order tagged him for an extra-base hit in each frame.

In the second, catcher Daniel Kerwin doubled in a run for the early lead.

Two frames later, third baseman Ryan Helgren hit a two-run home run for a 3-2 UTM lead.

APSU Baseball's Kyle BlackburnBut Powell settled down after the home run, retiring 11 of the final 13 batters he faced. He would work around a leadoff walk in the sixth and a two-out single in the seventh before bringing his season’s longest outing to a close with a strikeout.

Austin Peay (28-17, 18-9 OVC) rallied after UT Martin grabbed the 3-2 lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Governors tied the game, 3-3, with a perfectly executed hit-and-run by left fielder Kyle Blackburn.

APSU Baseball's TJ ConroyNext up, shortstop TJ Conroy placed a bunt perfectly down the first base line as part of a suicide squeeze play that saw designated hitter Alex Robles score to give APSU the lead. Second baseman Garrett Copeland added an insurance run with a single into left center.

The Governors tagged on another run in the fifth, which ultimately proved crucial. Catcher Ridge Smith led off the frame with a double and scored on Robles’ single into the left center for a 6-3 APSU advantage.

UT Martin (16-30, 7-17 OVC) would make things interesting in the ninth as three straight batters reached base safely against APSU closer Jared Carkuff. Pinch hitter Andrew Costello drove in two runs with a double to the wall in left center.

But Carkuff recovered quickly, needing just one more pitch to induced a game-ending ground out for his season’s fifth save.

Powell picked up the win after allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings. The walk he permitted to start the sixth ended a stretch of 17.2 innings without issuing a walk dating back to the Govs’ April 24th contest at Belmont.

Conroy led the Govs offense with a 1-for-2, three RBI performance. He drove in two runs with a single in the second, had a RBI on his sacrifice bunt in the fourth before earning a walk and flying out later in the game.

APSU Baseball's Ridge SmithUTM reliever Sadler Goodwin (0-1) was tagged for the loss after allowing three runs in 1.2 innings . Starting pitcher Shane Seckinger went two innings but did not factor into the decision.

The Skyhawks offense collected nine hits, but no batter had a multi-hit outing. Helgren’s 1-for-4, two RBI outing paced the effort.

Austin Peay has a pair of midweek games on the schedule. The Govs host Middle Tennessee in a scheduled 6:00pm, Tuesday contest. Austin Peay then travels to Evansville for a 6:00pm, Wednesday contest.


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