APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Shortstop Garrett Kueber hit a grand slam and drove in six runs as Austin Peay State University’s baseball team corralled Murray State, 19-7, Sunday at Raymond C. Hand Park to complete a sweep of the three-game Ohio Valley Conference series.
Sunday’s finale started much like Saturday’s contest with Murray State (10-10, 2-4 OVC) grabbing an early 2-0 lead on right fielder Brandon Gutzler’s two-run home run in the first inning.
And for a second straight day, the Governors tied the game with single runs in both the first and second innings.
But Sunday’s story took a new path in the third inning when Austin Peay (12-7, 5-1 OVC) sent 11 men to the plate and, with two outs, scored eight runs. Designated hitter Max Remy broke the tie with his two-run single that turned into three runs as a Murray State error allowed another run to score. Three batters later, Kueber stepped to the plate and hammered a grand slam to left field, giving the Govs a 10-2 lead.
The Governors extended their lead to 15-2 with a five-run fourth as third baseman Malcolm Tipler and Kueber supplied back-to-back two-run singles. That five-run frame proved helpful as Murray State responded with a five-run fifth inning, aided by second baseman Grant Wood’s grand slam.
However, Murray State could not extend its fifth inning rally, leaving the Govs a 15-7 lead. Austin Peay would add to its lead in the seventh with backup catcher Alex Sala supplying a bases-clearing double to cap a four-run burst and set the final score.
Govs pitcher Devin O’Donovan (1-0) was credited with the win after tossing 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Josh Rye, who went just 4.2 innings. Reliever Brandon Vial closed the game with three scoreless innings of his own to notch his first save.
Kueber’s six-RBI day came courtesy a 4-for-6 outing at the plate, which three singles and the grand slam. Tipler and Sala each had three RBI in the Govs season-high 19-run outburst.
Murray State starter Jake Jones (1-1) surrendered seven runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings in the loss. The Racers were held to four hits, third baseman Davis Sims supplying a 2-for-4 outing with two doubles.
Who Governed: Garrett Kueber
Entering Sunday with just one hit during the first three games of the homestand, Kueber broke out in a big way with four hits and six RBI in the finale. His grand slam was the third by the Governors this season and he had the third four-hit outing by a batter this season. Kueber’s six RBI were the most since Malcolm Tipler‘s six RBI performance at Eastern Kentucky last season.
Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli extended his reached base safely streak to 26 games with his 2-for-5 outing in the leadoff spot. Kueber has reached base safely in all 20 games this season.
Austin Peay’s offense earned 10 walks – right fielder Aaron Campbell walking three times — in Sunday’s victory. It is the second time this season the Govs have registered double-digit walks (Indiana State, March 3) and the 10th time this season they have notched six or more walks in a contest. They have averaged 6.2 walks per game this season (124 in 20 games).
The Governors bullpen showed significant improvement during the four-game homestand. Eight Govs relievers combined to allow only five runs in 20 innings of work (2.25 ERA) while limiting opponents to 14 hits and a .192 batting average.
Sweep The Weekend
Austin Peay claimed its third series sweep of 2018 with Sunday’s win. The Governors improved to 13-2 in weekend play and have not lost a weekend series in the season’s first five weeks.
Next Up for APSU Baseball
Austin Peay begins a five-game road trip with a two-game midweek series at Big 12 Conference foe Kansas State. The Governors and Wildcats will open the set with a 6:30pm, Tuesday contest followed by a noon, Wednesday matchup. Starting pitchers for the midweek contest are to be determined for both teams.