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APSU Baseball pitcher Jacques Pucheu holds Belmont scoreless through seven in win


APSU Sports Information

APSU BaseballClarksville, TN – Starting pitcher Jacques Pucheu opened with seven scoreless frames while the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team supplied plenty of run support in an 11-3 Ohio Valley Conference victory against Belmont, Saturday morning on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.

Austin Peay Baseball gets 11-3 win over Belmont Saturday at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Austin Peay Baseball gets 11-3 win over Belmont Saturday at Raymond C. Hand Park. (APSU Sports Information)

Pucheu (4-0) was nearly unhittable for a second-straight home start, scattering three hits through the first seven innings. He retired 12 consecutive batters from the third through seventh innings.

Meanwhile, the Austin Peay (13-12, 7-4 OVC) offense struck in the first inning to support their starter. The first four Govs of the game reached base safely, center fielder Garrett Spain earning a bases-loaded walk to push the first run home. Right fielder Parker Phillips and designated hitter Matt Joslin each added a run with sacrifice flies, and first baseman John McDonald pushed the lead to 4-0 with his RBI single.

After three scoreless innings by both teams, the Governors used the long ball to do damage in the fifth and sixth. Catcher David Martinez and Phillips each hit home runs in a three-run fifth. Second baseman Bobby head hit a solo home run in a two-run sixth as the Govs pushed their lead to 9-0.

Belmont (13-13, 8-3 OVC) would break up Pucheu’s shutout bid in the eighth when catcher Jackson Campbell hit a solo home run. The Bruins would tack on a pair of runs in the ninth but could not get any closer.

Pucheu tied his season long with eight innings pitched and his 11 strikeouts were one shy of his career high. He did not walk a batter and allowed just four hits to the 28 batters he faced.

Martinez went 3-for-5 with two RBI with a triple and a home run. Phillips finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI, and Head was 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Belmont starter Joshua South (2-3) went four-plus innings, surrendering six runs on seven hits and three walks in the loss. Left fielder Hunter Holland was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, accounting for half the Bruins hits.

Moment That Mattered

Against a Belmont starter that allowed just five walks in 32 innings entering the day, Austin Peay would patiently earn three walks. The first was the most important as center fielder Garrett Spain earned the first free pass on five pitches in the first.

With the bases loaded when he went to the plate, the walk pushed home the first run and the Govs were off to the races.


Water Cooler Chatter

Head! Again
Second baseman Bobby Head hit a solo home run in the sixth inning – the third consecutive game he has left the yard. It also was his seventh consecutive game with both a hit and a RBI, ending the day 2-for-4 with three RBI.

Hand It To Pucheu
Two weeks after striking out a career-high 12 batters in a home game against Tennessee Tech, Pucheu was back at it in the friendly confines. He rolled up 11 strikeouts over eight innings against Belmont.

A Double Shy
Catcher David Martinez fell a double shy of the cycle against the Bruins. Batting third for the first time this season, he began the day with a single.

Martinez then hit a two-run home run – his third homer in the last seven days – in the fifth inning. He barely missed a second home run as his fly ball to right center hit off the top of the wall and bounced back into play, though it did allow him to race to third base. He had a chance for the double in the eighth but flew out to end his day.

What The Win Means

No matter the results elsewhere in the OVC Saturday, Austin Peay will end the day in third place, one-game behind Belmont and percentage points behind second-place Murray State.

The Govs can create a tie atop the standings with a Sunday victory against the Bruins.



Next Up For APSU Baseball

APSU Baseball and Belmont will wrap up their three-game OVC series with a 1:00pm, Sunday contest at Hand Park. After splitting the first two games, the Govs will hand the ball to right-hander Brandon Vial (2-2, 3.04 ERA) while the Bruins are scheduled to go with right-hander Korey Bell (0-1, 5.50 ERA).




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