APSU Sports Information
Knoxville, TN – Austin Peay State University baseball first baseman Dre Gleason had three hits and four RBI, but a short-staffed Governors squad could not hold its early lead in an 18-4 loss to nationally-ranked Tennessee, Wednesday afternoon, at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Austin Peay (9-7) grabbed the early lead thanks to Gleason’s bat as he hit a two-out, three-run home run in the first inning to push the Govs out to a 3-0 lead.Two innings later, he would single up the middle to drive in another Govs run for a 4-0 lead.
Tennessee (12-2) broke through in the third, scoring a run after a pair of walks to start the inning but ultimately leaving the bases loaded as APSU reliever Landon Kelly ended the threat with two fly outs.
Two innings later, the Volunteers would use three walks to drive in a run and had the bases loaded with no outs. But reliever Jacques Pucheu recovered from walking the first batter he faced to retire the side with two fly outs and a strikeout.
The Volunteers were held scoreless on the first five at-bats with the bases loaded, but would not be denied when the situation arose again in the sixth.
Tennessee sent 11 men to the plate in the decisive frame, but it was third baseman Jordan Rodgers who notched the first base hit with the bases loaded. His infield single drove in the game-tying run but a Govs error allowed the go-ahead run to score, putting UT ahead 5-4.
That Austin Peay miscue would snowball into a six run frame as Tennessee took control of the contest. The Govs defense would be charged with two more errors in a game-sealing seven-run seventh inning that saw Tennessee send 12 men to the plate.
Austin Peay reliever Zach Neff (0-1) suffered the loss after allowing the go-ahead runs in the sixth as part of his 1.1 innings of work. Govs starter Brett Newberg allowed just one run over 2.1 innings in his season’s first start but did not factor into the decision.
Gleason went 3-for-3 with four RBI to supply the Govs their four runs in the contest. Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli went 2-for-4 and scored twice.
Tennessee reliever Daniel Vasquez (2-0) picked up the win with two scoreless innings of relief. He retired six consecutive batters in a stretch that saw 10 Govs batters retired in order. The Volunteers used nine pitchers in the contest.
Catcher Pete Derkay led off the sixth inning with a home run and later had RBI when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and on a sacrifice fly, finishing the day 1-for-1 with three RBI. Center fielder Brodie Leftridge also hit a home run in his first at-bat as part of a 1-for-2, two RBI effort.
Gleason supplied all of the Govs four runs in the contest as part of hits 3-for-3 outing. He gave Austin Peay a first-inning lead with his three-run home run. Two innings later, he laced ball up the middle with two outs to drive in the Govs final run. Gleason later added a single to left, his third hit with two outs.
Gleason’s Yard Work
Gleason’s home run was his sixth home run of 2017 and his 25th career blast. He became the 14th Govs hitter to record 25 career home runs.
Big Dre Breaks Into Top 10
His four RBI in Wednesday’s affair also moved him into the Govs career top 10 in RBI. His 28 RBI this season gives him 142 RBI during his career. The Govs record is 188 RBI by Greg Bachman (2008-12).
Newberg’s First Start
Sophomore Brett Newberg impressed in his first collegiate start as a pitcher, limiting Tennessee to one run over 2.1 innings. He worked one time through the Tennessee order, retiring the side in order in the first. Newberg faced the minimum through two innings, using a pickoff to erase his lone base hit allowed.
Next Up for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay continues its four-game road trip when it travels to Murray State for its first Ohio Valley Conference road series that also is part of the Heritage Bank Battle of the Border series. The Governors and Racers are scheduled to start the series with a 4:00pm, Friday contest at Reagan Field.