APSU Sports Information
Cape Girardeau, MO – A four-run second inning outburst proved to be enough as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team opened its three-game Ohio Valley Conference series against Southeast Missouri with a 4-2 victory, Friday night, at Capaha Field.
Austin Peay (10-9, 5-2 OVC) saw its first five batters reach base safely in the second inning.
First baseman John McDonald and designated hitter Matt Joslin ended that streak with RBI singles for a 2-0 lead. Second baseman Bobby Head then reached on an error, and shortstop Garrett Kueber reached on a fielder’s choice, each driving in runs to push the lead to 4-0.
Governors starting pitcher Josh Rye (3-2) made that early run support stand up, opening with three scoreless frames. Southeast Missouri (12-10, 2-5 OVC) would scratch out runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but Rye kept the innings from becoming bigger.
The Redhawks got a one-out triple off center fielder Danny Wight’s bat and shortstop Tyler Wilber followed with a single to drive in a run. The next inning, designated hitter Hunter Southerland hit a one-out double and second baseman Connor Basler followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 4-2.
Southeast Missouri threatened to tie or take the lead in the sixth, loading the bases with two outs. Austin Peay turned to reliever Ryan Kouba who struck out the first batter he faced to end the threat – the last significant threat for either team.
Rye picked up his second straight win after holding Southeast Missouri to two runs over five-plus innings. Ross Walker and Ryan Kouba combined for three scoreless innings to get the game into Brett Newberg’s hands. Newberg would notch a third consecutive save, his fourth this season, with a scoreless ninth.
Dylan Dodd (4-2) surrendered four runs on seven hits over six innings but left with the loss despite striking out six batters. Wright and Wilber each had two hits in the Redhawks’ six-hit offensive outing.
Moment That Mattered
With the bases loaded and no outs in the second, first baseman John McDonald strode to the plate. He fell behind in the count, 1-2, but promptly laced the next pitch up the middle of the diamond and into center field to drive in the game’s first run. It was the sophomore’s first RBI of 2019 after missing nearly a month due to injury.
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Starters Keep Rolling
During the current win streak, the Govs starting pitching has been the dominant storyline. Friday starter Josh Rye kept the line moving by allowing just two runs over his five-plus innings of work. In the last five games, APSU starters have a 1.00 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched.
Bottom Of The Order Works
In the decisive second inning it was the bottom of the Govs order that did the damage. The 7-8-9 part of the order – first baseman John McDonald, designated hitter Matt Joslin and second baseman Bobby Head – each drove in runs with their at-bats.
What The Win Meant
Austin Peay remained one game behind league-leading Belmont, which also won Friday. The Governors saw the group of four teams tied for second place shrink to two teams – the Govs and Murray State – after Friday’s action.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball and Southeast Missouri continue their three-game OVC set with a 2:00pm, Saturday contest. The Governors will hand the ball to lefthander Jacques Pucheu (3-0, 0.87 ERA) against Redhawks lefty Noah Niznik (2-1, 1.59 ERA).