APSU Sports Information
Edwardsville, IL – Shortstop Clayton Smithson had three hits and four RBI but Austin Peay State University’s baseball team had to hold on late in a 12-9 Ohio Valley Conference victory against SIU Edwardsville, Saturday, at Simmons Baseball Complex.
Austin Peay (30-18, 20-9 OVC) scored 10 straight runs to build a 10-2 lead through eight innings.Governors starter Caleb Powell surrendered two first-inning runs but went the next six innings without allowing a run.
SIUE (9-36, 6-20 OVC) tightened the screws in the eighth as the first four batters of the frame hit singles against Powell.
First baseman Keaton Wright and shortstop Skyler Geissinger’s singles each driving in a run. Powell’s outing – the first time he started the eighth inning this season – came to an end when he loaded the bases with a walk.
The Governors bullpen was unable to stem the Cougars rush. Reliever Keirce Kimbel surrendered a bloop single that led to two addition runs. A miscue on a sacrifice bunt allowed another run to score and left runners on second and third as SIUE closed the gap to 10-7.
Kimbel’s outing came to a close and Austin Peay turned to Zach Neff to try and close the door. Neff would get the first two outs before surrendering a soft line drive to right for a two-run single, cutting the deficit to one run, 10-9.
However, he would ultimately close the door with a pop out to strand the tying run on base.
Austin Peay’s offense responded immediately as left fielder Logan Gray drove the first pitch he saw in the top of the ninth over the wall in right for a home run. Right fielder Chase Hamilton followed by lacing a triple into the right center gap, scoring on a wild pitch for a 12-9 APSU lead.
Governors closer Jared Carkuff would allow a walk and a single to start the bottom of the ninth. But he steadied himself with an infield fly before inducing a game-ending double play for his season’s sixth save.
Smithson’s 3-for-5 outing included a game-tying two-run single in the second. He added a RBI double in the fourth and tacked on a RBI triple in the eighth.
Hamilton was joined on the home run tote board by second baseman Garrett Copeland and Gray. The Governors notched eight extra base hits in a 13-hit attack.
The offensive outburst helped Powell (7-2) notch his fourth consecutive win after allowing seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits in seven-plus innings.
Cougars starter Jarrett Bednar (2-10) was tagged for six runs (three earned) in his six-inning start.
Austin Peay wraps up the OVC portion of its schedule with its 1:00pm, Sunday contest at SIUE.