APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Third baseman Gino Avros beat out a potential double play, driving in the go-ahead run and igniting a four-run frame as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team won its fourth consecutive game, 5-3, against Western Kentucky, Tuesday at Nick Denes Field.
Trailing 1-0 after four innings, Austin Peay (9-9) opened the fifth frame with four consecutive hits. Catcher Alex Sala’s single capped that rally and drove in the game-tying run.
Two batters later, Avros stepped the plate and hit a ground ball to shortstop but hustled down the line to beat out the relay throw from second, allowing a run to score and extending the inning.
Shortstop Garrett Kueber followed with a walk to reload the bases with two out. Western Kentucky couldn’t escape the jam as both right fielder Parker Phillips and center fielder Garrett Spain were hit by consecutive pitches to drive in runs and the Govs led 4-1.
Austin Peay would add a fifth run in the eighth inning, McDonald again delivering a key base hit with a runner in scoring position as catcher David Martinez scored from second with an insurance run.
Western Kentucky (9-10) would chip into the lead in its half of the eighth. Third baseman Sam McElreath doubled to start the inning and scored on center fielder Jackson Swiney’s fly out. Two batters later, right fielder Jake Sanford hit a home run to right center field, cutting the Govs lead to 5-3.
But the Govs bullpen would close the game by retiring the Hilltoppers final four batters. Closer Brett Newberg recorded the final three outs for his season’s second save.
The Govs midgame outburst provided the timely run support needed for starter Tyler Thompson (1-0) to record his season’s first win after holding WKU to a run on four hits over five innings.
Martinez, second baseman Malcolm Tipler and McDonald each had two hits to lead the Govs 10-hit offensive attack.
WKU starter Hunter Crosby (1-3) suffered the loss after allowing two runs on five hits over four-plus innings. McElreath’s 2-for-3 day led the Hilltoppers who finished with seven hits.
Moment That Mattered
The aforementioned at-bat by Avros was the key moment in the game. The Govs posted four consecutive base hits to tie the game in front of a fly out that didn’t produce a run.
After the Hilltoppers’ second pitching change of the frame, Avro got to a 3-1 count before putting the ball in play – a potential inning-ending double play ball to the shortstop.
However, Avros beat out the throw and not only allowed the go-ahead run to score, he extended a frame that resulted in two more runs.
Water Cooler Chatter
Sala’s First Hit Unlocks Big Fifth
Catcher Alex Sala provided his first base hit of 2019 at an opportune time. His single was the fourth consecutive hit to open the Govs fifth inning and drove in the game-tying run.
Thompson A Winner Again
APSU Govs starting pitcher Tyler Thompson picked up his season’s first victory in his fourth midweek start. For the second straight start he went five innings while limiting an opponent to a run. The win came nearly one year since his last victory – a March 21st, 2018 victory at Kansas State.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball continues its four-game road trip when it opens a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series with a 6:00pm, Friday contest against Southeast Missouri at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.