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Belmont hands APSU Baseball 9-5 home loss

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU Baseball - Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Friday night second baseman Garrett Giovannelli went 4-for-4 but Austin Peay State University’s baseball team dropped its Ohio Valley Conference opener to Belmont, 9-5,  at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay Baseball falls to Belmont 9-5 at Raymond C. Hand Park Friday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball falls to Belmont 9-5 at Raymond C. Hand Park Friday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Belmont (14-14, 9-4 OVC) broke a scoreless outing in the second when it sent 10 men to the plate. The Bruins used six hits, including shortstop Kyle Conger’s two-run single, to drive in five runs and break out to the early lead.

The Bruins would pad their lead with a run in the fourth as left fielder Matt Cogen ended APSU starting pitcher Alex Robles‘ outing with a RBI single. Belmont tacked on another two runs in the fifth, taking advantage of a one-out error when catcher Clay Payne hit a two-run double.

Austin Peay (13-16, 5-8 OVC) broke through in its half of the fifth. Giovannelli drove in the Govs first run with a RBI double. Center fielder Imani Willis followed with another double, scoring Giovannelli, and Austin Peay was within six runs, 8-2.

The Governors would have a golden opportunity to close the gap in the seventh when they loaded the bases with three walks around two outs. Robles, the Govs designated hitter, battled back from a 1-2 count against reliever Kyle Klotz to earn a bases-loaded walk. However, APSU was held to just the one run as a deep fly ball to center field was held by the park.

Belmont got that run back in the eighth, reestablishing its six-run lead, only to watch Austin Peay threaten one more time in the ninth. Giovannelli led off with a single and left fielder Cayce Bredlau drove him in with a single into the left center gap.

Robles followed another single, before Gleason beat a potential double-play rap at first base to keep the inning alive. Robles would score on the overthrow to first, narrowing the deficit. However, the Govs could not extend the inning further with their 10 strikeout ending the game.

Giovannelli’s four hit outing was his second in OVC play this season and he also reached base in all five plate appearances to lead the Govs nine-hit outing. Robles went 2-for-3 with two walks and two RBI at the plate.

However, Robles (3-5) could not escape the Bruins’ five-run second inning, suffering the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits in a 3.2-inning outing.

Belmont starter Tyler Vaughn (2-4) notched the win after holding the Govs to three runs on five hits over 6.2 innings, striking out nine APSU batters.

Four different Belmont hitters had two hits each and four had two RBI each. Left fielder Matt Cogen and center fielder Tyler Walsh each had two hits and two RBI.

Who Governed

Giovannelli’s second career four-hit performance also saw him reach base in all five plate appearances. He singled in the first and third innings before driving in the Govs first run with a fifth-inning double. Giovannelli was walked in the seventh before wrapping the evening with a single in the ninth. He also had two stolen bases and scored twice in the game.

Silver Linings

Gio Tops Four-Hit Club
Giovannelli became the first Govs hitter to post two four-hit games this season. Friday’s outing joined a 4-for-6 performance against Jacksonville State, March 12th. He is one of four Govs with a four-hit outing in 2017.

Gleason’s Streaks Halted
First baseman Dre Gleason did not reach base safely in Friday’s opener, ending his 28-game streak of reaching base safely. The 28-game reached safely streak is tied for ninth longest in program history. Gleason also saw his seven-game hit streak halted in the loss.

Austin Peay and Belmont continue their three-game OVC series with a 1:00pm, Saturday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.


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