APSU Sports Information
Nashville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team scored seven unanswered runs and stunned No. 1 ranked Vanderbilt, 7-6 in 10 innings Wednesday night at Hawkins Field.
Trailing 5-3 entering the ninth, Austin Peay (3-4) turned a moment of anguish into a rallying point. With a runner on base and one out, first baseman Parker Phillips was called out on strikes and in the ensuing moments the Governors head coach was ejected.
However, Austin Peay would battle back with the next two batters each earning walks to load the bases.
Enter designated hitter Matt Joslin who took a pair of balls before a called strike and a foul ball pushed the count to 2-2. Joslin didn’t flinch and rifled a single through the left side of the infield and two Governors scampered home to tie the game, 5-5.
Govs reliever Brett Newberg (1-2) returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth and allowed a one-out single before getting a fly out and strikeout to end the frame, forcing Austin Peay’s second extra-inning affair of 2019.
In the 10th, Austin Peay batters kept winning battles at the plate. Second baseman Max Remy and third baseman Gino Avros each earned walks and shortstop Garrett Kueber was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out.
One out later, Phillips would ground sharply to shortstop but Kueber would beat the throw to second, allowing the go-ahead run to score. Center fielder Garrett Spain followed with his third walk of the game to force home a second run and the Govs lead was 7-5.
Vanderbilt (6-2) would get a glimmer of hope in the home half of the tenth when second baseman Austin Martin tripled with one out and scored on right fielder JJ Bleday’s fly ball. But Newberg struck out the next batter and catcher David Martinez’ throw to Phillips was in time to seal the win.
Newberg, the sixth Governors pitcher of the day, picked up his season’s first win after holding Vanderbilt to one run over three innings. He struck out five of the 13 batters he faced, including two key strikeouts in the eighth that stranded runners in scoring position and maintained the Govs two-run deficit.
Jackson Gillis (0-1), the seventh of eight Vanderbilt pitchers, was tagged for the loss after allowing two runs in the 10th inning.
But from there, the Austin Peay bullpen did a stellar job, scattering five hits and one earned run over the final 6.2 innings to give the bats a chance to get back in it.
Moment That Mattered
Designated hitter Matt Joslin came off the bench and delivered the biggest hit of the young season. Facing Vanderbilt reliever Tyler Brown, who had just entered the game with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Joslin took the first two pitches he saw for balls to jump ahead 2-0.
Brown then delivered a strike and Joslin responded by fouling off the next pitch to level the count. Brown’s 2-2 offering proved the game’s pivotal moment with Joslin rifling the ball through the left side and driving in two game-tying runs.
Water Cooler Notes
Down Goes #1!
Austin Peay downed a Top 5 ranked opponent for the second consecutive year after defeating then-No. 5 ranked Clemson last May. Austin Peay becomes the first OVC team to down the nation’s top-ranked squad since Jacksonville State topped Georgia in 2009.
Patience A Virtue
APSU earned 13 walks en route to the win, six of those coming in the final two innings – and four of those six eventually becoming Governors runs. The 12 walks were three shy of the program record set in 2005.
Winning On West End
The Governors win at Vanderbilt was their first at what is now Hawkins Field since 2002. It was APSU’s first win against Vanderbilt in the series since 2010. It was the Govs 25th victory against their in-state foe all time.
Up Next For APSU Govs
APSU Baseball continues its first road trip of the season when it meets Indiana State in a three-game nonconference series scheduled to begin with a 1:00pm (CT), Friday contest at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute, Indiana.