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Oklahoma takes pair from APSU Governors Thursday

APSU Sports Information

APSU Baseball - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team opened its final home weekend of 2016 by dropping both ends of a doubleheader to Big 12 Conference foe Oklahoma, 11-3 and 4-1, Thursday at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay (27-20) led just once in the doubleheader grabbing a 2-1 lead in the third inning of the day’s first game.

Austin Peay Baseball drops two games Thursday to Oklahoma Sooners. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball drops two games Thursday to Oklahoma Sooners. (APSU Sports Information)

Left fielder Logan Gray drove in a game-tying run with his two-out single. Gray would score when right fielder Chase Hamilton‘s hard ground ball got by the Oklahoma first baseman for a double. A throwing miscue allowed Gray to scamper home for the early lead.

But the twinbill opener turned in the fourth inning when Oklahoma (28-24-1) worked four walks out of Austin Peay starter Alex Robles, who had not allowed more than three walks in a game during his career. Sooners third baseman Cade Harris made those walks hurt with a bases-clearing double, giving OU a 5-2 lead.

APSU Baseball's Logan GrayThe Sooners would extend their lead to 11-2 courtesy a four-run seventh and two-run eighth inning. Left fielder Steele Walker hit a two-run home run in the seventh. The Sooners added two runs after an APSU error in the eighth.

Robles (9-5) would be denied his season’s 10th win after allowing five runs on four hits and six walks over five innings. He would strike out six batters and finished the game with 199 career strikeouts.

Gray and Hamilton each had two hits as the Govs were held to six hits in the opener.

APSU Baseball's Chase HamiltonOklahoma starter Jake Irvin (6-1) picked up the win after holding Austin Peay to two runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks over six innings.

Harris finished Game 1 with a 2-for-5, three RBI effort. Center fielder Ben Hollas, Walker and shortstop Thomas Hughes had two RBI each.

The night cap was a pitcher’s duel through five innings, with both offenses scratching out just a single run. Oklahoma got on the board in the second when right fielder Alex Wise doubled home first baseman Austin O’Brien, who led off the frame with a single. Austin Peay responded in the fifth, tying the game when shortstop Garrett Copeland tripled to start the frame and scored on a balk.

However, that tie would not survive Oklahoma’s next turn at bat. Harris opened the inning with his second double and scored after an APSU error on a sacrifice bunt. Walker was next up and delivered the game’s big blow, a two-run home run to right that gave Oklahoma a 4-1 lead.

Sooners Game 2 starter Alec Hansen (2-5) would allow just three hits in his six innings on the mound, surrendering the lone run. He also struck out 10 of the 24 batters he faced. Reliever JB Olson worked around runners on second and third base in both the seventh and ninth innings to notch his season’s fourth save.

APSU Baseball's Clayton SmithsonAustin Peay starter Caleb Powell matched Hansen through five innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out five over five innings. Reliever Zach Neff (1-6) was tagged for the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) in the first of his three innings on the mound.

Walker paced Oklahoma in Game 2 with a 1-for-4, two RBI performance. Wise and second baseman Kyle Mendenhall each had two hits.

Seven different APSU hitters notched a hit, shortstop Clayton Smithson posting a 2-for-4 outing.

After a day off to try and avoid rain forecast for Clarksville, Austin Peay and Oklahoma will wrap up the 2016 regular season with an 11:30am, Saturday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.


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