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APSU Baseball drops two games to Eastern Illinois, now eyes OVC Tournament

 

APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team will enter the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship at the No. 5 seed after dropping the final two games of its regular-season ending series against Eastern Illinois, 19-4 and 9-3, Saturday afternoon at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay Baseball loses two games Saturday to Eastern Illinois at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball loses two games Saturday to Eastern Illinois at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Next Up

Austin Peay (30-25, 17-13 OVC) will make its 26th appearance in the OVC’s postseason event, the second most in league history. They will face No. 4 seed Jacksonville State in a 9:00am, Wednesday contest at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Alabama. The Govs won the regular-season series between the two teams, 2-1, back in the opening week of OVC play.

Tourney Tickets

Tickets, which can be purchased in person at the park, will be $10.00 per day or $25.00 for an all-session pass (up to 14 total games). There is also a $5.00 a day rate for college students with ID as well as children 6-12 years old (children 5 and under are free).  All seats are general admission for the OVC Championship.

Game 2 Summary

Austin Peay starter Jacques Pucheu and Eastern Illinois starter Tyler Jones engaged in a duel through the first three innings, keeping the game scoreless.

Eastern Illinois (23-21, 12-18 OVC) broke through in the fourth inning when left fielder Jimmy Huber hit a double to drive in a run just before the first stoppage due to lightning. The over two-hour delay ended Pucheu’s night prematurely as the Govs had to go to their bullpen early.

After the team’s returned to the field, the Panthers tack on an additional run in the fourth and broke out for three runs in a fifth-inning burst aided by an Austin Peay miscue, taking a 5-0 lead.

Austin Peay would get back solo runs in the fourth and fifth innings to narrow the early deficit. Catcher David Martinez belted a leadoff home run in the fifth to break up the shutout bid. Shortstop Bobby Head then contributed a sacrifice fly in the sixth, trimming the EIU lead to 5-2.

Eastern Illinois would score the game’s next 14 runs. A seven-run eighth inning included home runs from designated hitter Josh Turnock and center fielder Joseph Duncan, the latter proving to be the final play of Friday’s portion of the game as it was eventually suspended due to lightning.

The Panthers would add five runs in a ninth-inning burst in the Saturday portion of the contest, right fielder Frankie Perrone hitting a three-run home run in the inning. Austin Peay would counter with two runs in its half of the ninth – both coming in on second baseman Josh Shrouder’s first collegiate home run.

Pucheu (7-3) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings, striking out four batters. Martinez paced the Govs 11-hit attack with a 2-for-3 outing.

Jones (7-3) picked up the win after holding the Govs to two runs on five hits in six innings of work. Alex Stevenson picked up his season’s first save after allowing two runs over the final three innings. First baseman Hunter Morris and Parks each had four RBI, Morris finishing the game 4-for-6 at the plate.

Game 3 Summary

Eastern Illinois jumped out early in the series finale, scoring the game’s first four runs. Perrone again delivered the big blow with a three-run home run in the third inning to put the Panthers ahead 4-0.

Austin Peay scored the next three runs, plating two in the third and a run in the fourth. Designated hitter Malcolm Tipler drove in a run with a ground out and first baseman Parker Phillips chipped in a RBI single in the third. Head then would narrow the deficit to a run with a single in the fourth.

The Panthers would be held scoreless in the fourth and fifth as Govs starter Josh Rye (1-4) would piece together a streak of nine consecutive batters retired after the Perrone home run.

However, Eastern Illinois would tack on a run in the sixth inning but again broke the game open against the Governors bullpen in the seventh inning. The Panthers would send eight men to the plate in the seventh, scoring four runs.

Rye would allow five runs on six hits in 5.1 innings of work but would suffer the loss. Austin Peay’s offense would not score again after the fourth inning, despite posting nine hits in the seven-inning affair. Second baseman Garrett Giovannelli would hit his season’s 25th double as part of a 2-for-4 outing.

Panthers starter Dustin Wilson (3-3) picked up the win after tossing a scoreless inning on a staff day for the Panthers, who used six pitchers in the contest. Reliever Jake Haberer tossed the final two innings without allowing a run to pick up his third save.


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