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HomeSportsAPSU Baseball holds off Belmont for 10-8 victory

APSU Baseball holds off Belmont for 10-8 victory

APSU Sports Information

APSU Baseball Clarksville, TN – On Sunday, April 9th, the Austin Peay State University’s baseball team fended off a mid-game rally to claim a 10-8 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Belmont at Raymond C. Hand Park. With the win, the Governors claimed the three-game OVC series, 2-1, for their second series victory this season.

Austin Peay (15-16, 7-8 OVC) raced out to a big lead using a combination of the long ball, small ball and a little help from the Belmont defense to build an 8-1 lead through four innings.

Austin Peay Baseball beats Belmont 10-8 Sunday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay Baseball beats Belmont 10-8 Sunday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

The long ball portion of the game came in the second inning when Gleason and Hamilton hit their home runs. Gleason’s shot led off the frame and gave the Govs the game’s first run. Two batters later, Hamilton delivered a two-run blast to right for a 3-0 lead.

The Govs then utilized a Belmont error to plate two runs in the third. Designated hitter Parker Phillips and Hamilton each walked with two outs and then attempted a double steal. The throw to second sailed into the outfield, allowing both Philips and Hamilton to score for a 5-0 lead.

APSU Baseball - Garrett GiovannelliAustin Peay then went to a small ball approach in the fourth after shortstop Max Remy walked and second baseman Garrett Giovannelli singled to start the inning. The Govs used a sacrifice bunt to move the runners before the Bruins walked left fielder Cayce Bredlau to load the bases. Third baseman Alex Robles hit a sacrifice fly in front of Gleason, who cleared the bases with his two-run single, giving APSU an 8-1 lead.

Pitcher Jacques Pucheu, making his first start as a Governor, retired the first seven batters he faced and 10 of the first 11 Belmont batters he faced did not reach base safely. However, he surrendered a two-out home run to designated hitter Nick Egli in the fourth to break up his streak.

Belmont (14-16, 9-6 OVC) ended Pucheu’s day in the fifth as they opened the frame with a walk followed by left fielder Alex Ward’s run-scoring double. The Govs bullpen could not shut the door before shortstop Kyle Conger hit a two-run home run just inside the right-field foul pole, slashing the Govs lead to 8-4.

APSU Baseball - Parker PhillipsThe Austin Peay bullpen would bend in the sixth, using three pitchers in the frame, but would not break as it did not surrender the lead. That task was remarkable as the Bruins sent nine batters to the plate and saw five batters reach base via a walk or by being hit by a pitch. In addition, Belmont’s four runs in the frame were each scored without the benefit of a base hit. However, the potential go-ahead run was left stranded at third base as reliever Josh Rye induced a pop out to end the frame.

The Governors offense responded immediately, starting when Bredlau walked to start the bottom of the sixth. After a double play allowed Bredlau to reach third base, designated hitter Parker Phillips delivered the go-ahead run with a single to left field. One inning later, Giovannelli supplied an insurance run with a single up the middle for a 10-8 lead.

Rye (5-1), the eventual winning pitcher, would jump on the second chance to hold the lead, retiring the Bruins in order in the seventh and retiring the first batter he faced in the eighth before handing the ball to reliever Levi Primasing. The Govs lefty did not allow a run over the final 1.2 innings, striking out four of the eight batters he faced to secure his season’s second save.

Giovannelli reached base in all five of his plate appearances, Sunday, going 3-for-3 with two walks. He reached base in 12 of his 14 plate appearances during the three-game series. In addition, Gleason led the Govs with three RBI in Sunday’s finale as part of his 2-for-5 outing.

Belmont reliever Kyle Klotz (2-3) took the loss after allowing one run on two hits in his 1.1 innings of work. Ward led the Bruins offense with a 3-for-3 outing of his own, that included two RBI.

Who Governed

Making his first start as a Governor, sophomore Jacques Pucheu supplied four-plus innings, holding Belmont to three runs on just three hits. He retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing a one-out single, but the next two batters failed to reach safely. Pucheu would surrender a two-out home run in the fourth and only saw his outing come to a close after allowing a walk and double to start the fifth.

Silver Linings

Have A Weekend Gio
Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli closed his impressive weekend against Belmont with a 3-for-3, twowalk outing. The junior transfer finished the three-game set batting .800 (8-for-10) with a double, three RBI, three runs scored and three stolen bases. Giovannelli also earned four walks to post an impressive .857 on-base percentage, reaching base in 12 of his 14 plate appearances.

Gleason, Hamilton Launch Again
First baseman Dre Gleason and right fielder Chase Hamilton each hit a home run for the second consecutive game. Gleason got the Govs on the board with his leadoff home run in the second inning. Two batters later, Hamilton launched a moon shot to right for two runs, giving the Govs a 3-0 lead.

Another Save Conversion
Primasing worked the final 1.2 innings scoreless to post his second save this season. It also was the fourth consecutive save conversion by the Govs bullpen.

Govs Now Six Back
The Govs 2-1 series victory against the Bruins helped them move to six games behind OVC leader Tennessee Tech. The Golden Eagles dropped their OVC set at Jacksonville State, 2-1, while second-place Morehead State was swept by UT Martin. Austin Peay reached the halfway point in its OVC schedule with Sunday’s finale.

After winning its second series of 2017, Austin Peay returns to the road for its second five-game road trip of the season. The Govs will travel Eastern Kentucky for their Easter weekend set, scheduled to begin Thursday in Richmond, Kentucky.

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