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HomeSportsAPSU Baseball unable to overcome Notre Dame early lead in 7-2 loss

APSU Baseball unable to overcome Notre Dame early lead in 7-2 loss

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballSouth Bend, IN –  Austin Peay State University’s baseball team center fielder Imani Willis had three hits, including a run-scoring double in the seventh, but the Governors saw the game get away from it in the eighth and dropped a 7-2 decision to Notre Dame, Saturday afternoon, at Frank Eck Stadium.

Austin Peay junior center fielder Imani Willis had three hits including a double in Saturday's loss to Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (APSU Sports Information)
Austin Peay junior center fielder Imani Willis had three hits including a double in Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (APSU Sports Information)

Notre Dame (25-26) jumped ahead first in Saturday’s contest and again it was right fielder Eric Gilgenbach who supplied to Fighting Irish’s first runs. His two-run home run to right field was his second of the series and supplied an early 2-0 lead.

Austin Peay (22-27) could not solve Notre Dame pitcher Michael Hearne (4-4) through six innings with the Fighting Irish starter scattering six hits. But Notre Dame started the seventh by going to its bullpen and the Govs responded with doubles by right fielder Chase Hamilton and center fielder Imani Willis to break the ice. After a second Notre Dame pitching change in the frame, second baseman Garrett Giovannelli delivered a second run with a single to right field, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

But the Fighting Irish would salt the game away in the eighth. Notre Dame saw the first two batters reach base after being hit by a pitch and being issued a walk.

After a strikeout, the Govs intentionally walked a batter but Gilgenbach spoiled the tactic with a two-run double just inside the left field line. Austin Peay issued its third walk of the frame and Notre Dame followed with back-to-back run scoring singles to extend its lead to 7-2.

Notre Dame closer Sean Guenther came on board to stem the Govs seventh inning rally and then retired the next six batters he faced to record his season’s seventh save. Hearne picked up the win with six scoreless innings of work, striking out three and walking none.

Gilgenbach ended the day 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBI and two runs scored. Second baseman Nick Podkul added a 3-for-5 outing with a RBI.

Govs starter Jacques Pucheu (1-2) suffered the loss despite holding Notre Dame to three runs in his 4.1-inning outing. Reliever Michael Costanzo helped keep the game close, following Pucheu with 2.2 scoreless innings and allowing only one hit.

Wilis’ 3-for-3, one RBI performance paced the Govs offense, which finished with nine hits. Right fielder Chase Hamilton was 2-for-4 with one of the Govs four doubles.

Austin Peay now will seek to salvage a win in the series finale, scheduled for 12:05pm CT, Sunday.

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