APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – For the third-straight game, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team got a quality outing from a starting pitcher – this time Brandon Vial supplying six scoreless frames in an 8-1 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Tennessee Tech, Sunday afternoon.
Tennessee Tech (10-9, 2-4 OVC) had an opportunity to grab its first lead of the series in the top of the first, loading the bases with two out against Vial.
But the Governors starter shut the door quickly, striking out the next batter he faced to end the threat.
Austin Peay (8-9, 4-2 OVC) put the Golden Eagles behind on the scoreboard in their half of the first. Third baseman Gino Avros doubled to start the frame, advanced on a ground out and scored on first baseman Parker Phillips’ sacrifice fly.
Vial (1-2) would back up that run by retiring the next seven batters he faced as he held Tennessee Tech scoreless through the fourth. The Golden Eagles would try to produce a run in the fifth but saw a runner cut down at home on a perfect relay play from left to deny the run.
The Govs would add to their lead in the fourth as the first five batters of the frame reached base safely. Catcher David Martinez and left fielder Malcolm Tipler drove in runs with a single and a bases-loaded walk, respectively, to extend the lead to 3-0.
Austin Peay doubled that advantage with a three-run fifth – two runs coming on center fielder Garrett Spain’s single – and tacked on single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to build an 8-0 advantage.
Vial’s outing was his longest scoreless-inning effort since his first appearance as a Governor last season. He struck out a career-high nine batters while scattering six hits and allowing only two walks. Closer Brett Newberg would allow a run in the ninth inning but picked up the three-inning save.
The Govs posted 10 hits in the win with shortstop Garrett Kueber’s 2-for-4, one RBI outing the only multi-hit effort. Tipler finished the day 1-for-2 with two RBI.
Tennessee Tech starter Jacob Cole (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing three runs on three hits and three walks in three-plus innings. Shortstop Zell Walker’s ninth-inning single provided the Golden Eagles their only run of the day.
Moment That Mattered
Having never led in the series’ first two games, Tennessee Tech had a quality opportunity develop in the top of the first. Center fielder Kevin Strohschein, first baseman Jason Hinchman and left fielder Anthony Carerra loaded the bases with two outs. John Dyer, TTU’s designated hitter, strode to the plate to face Governors starter Brandon Vial.
But the Govs righty needed just three pitches to end the threat, recording his first strikeout. Austin Peay would take the lead in the bottom of the first and would never trail in the series.
Water Cooler Chatter
The Govs weekend rotation of Josh Rye, Jacques Pucheu and Brandon Vial set the tone all weekend. The trio combined to hold Tennessee Tech scoreless for 17 innings. They allowed just 11 hits – TTU hitting only .153 against them – and eight walks while striking out 27 batters.
Productive Top Five
Meanwhile, the Top 5 of the Govs order – Gino Avros, Garrett Kueber, Parker Phillips, Garrett Spain and David Martinez – were productive all weekend. That quintet went 18-for-51 (.353) at the plate with 11 walks, a .500 on-base percentage, 19 runs scored and 13 RBI.
What The Win Means
With the win, Austin Peay swept the three-game OVC set against Tennessee Tech. It is the Govs first sweep of the Golden Eagles since 2015.
The Governors end the second weekend of league play tied for second in the league race. They are one game behind Belmont (5-1 OVC) and tied with three other teams.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball begins a four-game road trip with a 6:00pm, Tuesday nonconference contest at Western Kentucky (9-9). The Govs then stay on the road for a three-game OVC set at Southeast Missouri (11-9, 2-4 OVC).