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APSU Sports Information
Richmond, KY – Starting pitcher Josh Rye struck out a career-best eight batters over 7.2 innings, and the Austin Peay State University (APSU) offense supplied five home runs in an 8-1 Ohio Valley Conference series-opening victory against Eastern Kentucky, Friday night at Earle Combs Stadium.
Rye (4-3) opened the game by retiring the first six batters he faced and allowed just two base runner through the opening five innings.
His lone blip on the day was a solo home run to open the sixth inning, but he responded by retiring seven of the next eight batters he faced – five via strikeout.
Austin Peay (15-13, 9-4 OVC) would support Rye’s performance with a five-homer barrage. Center fielder Garrett Spain opened the salvo with a leadoff shot in the second, his season’s second home run.
One inning later, first baseman John McDonald hit his season’s first home run with a second-straight leadoff home run.
With the Governors leading 3-1 entering the fourth, left fielder Malcolm Tipler and designated hitter Matthew Joslin hit back-to-back one-out homers in the fourth. It was Tipler’s first home run this season and Joslin’s second.
Catcher David Martinez would secure the victory in the ninth, hitting a two-run home run to set the final score. It was Martinez’ fifth home run this season, all coming in his last seven games.
Eastern Kentucky (17-14, 5-5 OVC) could not solve Rye until third baseman Logan Thomason’s leadoff home run in the sixth. The Colonels would get two aboard with two out in the eighth to end Rye’s outing, but APSU reliever Ryan Kouba struck out the first batter he faced to end the threat. EKU would load the bases in the ninth but could not score.
Rye posted career bests in innings pitched (7.2) and strikeouts (eight) while walking only one batter and scattering five hits. Kouba would hit a pair of batters in the ninth but struck out two, including the game’s final batter.
Martinez led Austin Peay with a 3-for-5, three RBI outing that also included an RBI single in the third.
Eastern Kentucky starter Jake Lewis (0-2) suffered the loss in his season’s first start, going three innings while allowing three runs on four hits. At the plate, Thomason led the EKU offense with a 2-for-3 outing.
Moment That Mattered
Leading 3-0 after three innings, Austin Peay began the fourth facing a new Eastern Kentucky pitcher as Nick Laster took over. The Colonels reliever made a statement by striking out the first batter he faced. Left fielder Malcolm Tipler made sure the momentum stayed in the Governors favor by belting his first home run of 2019 over the wall in right.
On the very next pitch, designated hitter Matt Joslin turned that momentum into a tidal wave with a towering home run to left field, giving the Govs a 5-0 lead.
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What The Win Means
The Govs are one-half game ahead of both Murray State and Jacksonville State, who with 7-3 OVC records are ahead of APSU when using win percentage as the ranking method.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball and Eastern Kentucky are scheduled to resume their three-game OVC series with a 3:00pm (CT), Saturday contest. However, with inclement weather forecast Sunday, the schedule is subject to change.
TopicsAPSU, APSU Athletics, APSU Baseball, APSU Men's Baseball, APSU Sports, Austin Peay State University, Bobby Head, Colonels, David Martinez, Earle Combs Stadium, Eastern Kentucky, Garrett Spain, Governors, Govs, Jake Lewis, John McDonald, Josh Rye, Logan Thomason, Malcolm Tipler, Matt Joslin, Matthew Joslin, Murray State, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Parker Phillips, Richmond KY, Ryan Kouba
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