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APSU Baseball defeats Morehead State 15-9 in hit fest

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballMorehead, KY – Right fielder Kyle Wilson, left fielder Nick Walker and catcher Alex Sala each hit home runs as Austin Peay State University’s baseball team powered its way to a 15-9 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Morehead State, Saturday, at Allen Field.

After an early six-run outburst in the first two innings, Austin Peay (23-16, 13-7 OVC) suffered through a three-inning scoring drought that saw Morehead State tie the game, 6-6.

Austin Peay Baseball out hits Morehead State 19 to 15 for 15-9 win at Allen Field Saturday night. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball out hits Morehead State 19 to 15 for 15-9 win at Allen Field Saturday night. (APSU Sports Information)

The Governors broke the tie in the sixth inning thanks to Walker, whose three-run home run gave the Govs a 9-6 lead.

Austin Peay would eventually send nine batters to the plate in the sixth, center fielder Imani Willis adding a RBI single for a 10-6 advantage.

The Governors would extend their lead in the eighth and ninth innings. In the eighth, Sala came to plate with two outs and hit a pinch-hit three-run home run to center field. Designated hitter John McDonald than supplied a two-run single in the ninth and the Govs lead reached 15-6.

Morehead State (24-16, 11-6 OVC) would again rally late, sending seven men to the plate in the ninth inning. Three straight base hits with two outs helped plate three runs. Center fielder Connor Pauly had a RBI single and designated hitter Eli Boggess drove in a pair of runs with a double, setting the final score. Govs reliever Brett Newberg struck out the next man he faced to end the game.

The late outburst helped Govs starter Jacques Pucheu (5-1) pick up a win after a gutsy 5.1-inning outing. He battled through the first three innings, surrendering a pair of home runs, as Morehead State rallied to tie the game. However, after allowing the second home run he buckled down and retired seven consecutive batters to stretch his outing into the sixth inning.

Morehead State reliever John Sherman (1-1) was tagged for the loss despite holding the Govs to one run on two hits in his 2.1-inning outing. However, he left APSU second baseman Garrett Giovannelli on base and the Eagles bullpen surrendered the tiebreaking home run to Nick Walker two batters later.

Giovannelli’s 4-for-6 outing saw him score three times and he also was pivotal on defense, helping turn two double plays late to end Morehead State threats. First baseman Parker Phillips, Walker and Wilson each had two hits, Austin Peay finishing with 19 hits on the day.

Eagles left fielder Niko Hulsizer hit a two-run home run in the first inning as part of his 3-for-5, three RBI outing. Second baseman Braxton Morris also had three hits in Morehead State’s 15-hit day.  

Govs Notably

Another Weekend Series Won
Saturday’s win clinched another weekend series for the Governors, who have won nine of their 10 weekend sets this season. It also was the fifth OVC series victory in six league weekends for the Govs.

A Dominant 1-2 Punch
Lefthanders Michael Costanzo and Jacques Pucheu, the Governors No. 1 and No. 2 starters, have put the Governors in an admirable position when they make their starts. Austin Peay is an impressive 18-2 overall (12-2 in league play) when that duo takes the mound this season, a large part of the Govs 23-16 record in 2018.

A Word About Yard Work
As spring has sprung the Governors have taken to getting their yard work done. Since April’s start Austin Peay has hit 20 home runs in 11 games – the bulk of its 33 home runs this season. First baseman Parker Phillips has six homers in April, one of nine APSU hitters with a homer.  

Up Next for APSU Baseball

Austin Peay, which won its fifth OVC series with Saturday’s win, and Morehead State close out their three-game OVC set with a noon (CT), Sunday contest. For a third straight weekend, Austin Peay, which is seeking its second OVC series sweep, will turn to right hander Brandon Vial (1-2, 5.40 ERA). Morehead State turns to Kyle Cantu (3-0, 3.96 ERA) in an attempt to salvage a game in the series.


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