APSU Sports Information
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball’s Matthew Joslin entered Tuesday’s contest quickly gaining notoriety as a clutch hitter. With one swing of his bat, he only added to his growing legend with his pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam giving the Governors a stunning 12-9 nonconference victory against Southern Illinois on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (19-16) entered the ninth inning facing a 9-7 deficit. And if that wasn’t daunting enough, Southern Illinois handed the ball to closer Trey McDaniel, who began the day ranked sixth nationally in saves.
After a strikeout began the inning, the Governors saw four consecutive batters reach base safely. Right fielder Parker Phillips, the third batter in that parade, hit a single to drive in designated hitter Malcolm Tipler, cutting the deficit to one run, 9-8.
Southern Illinois (17-16) walked first baseman Andrew Flaherty to load the bases and get to the bottom of the Austin Peay order. The Salukis got an out away from escaping the danger with a strikeout of the next Governors hitter to the plate.
But Austin Peay had a weapon waiting in its dugout, and head coach turned to Joslin in a pinch-hit role. Joslin quickly fell behind in the count, 1-2, but took the next offering over the wall in straightaway center field for the game-winning grand slam.
Joslin improved to 6-for-8 with 12 RBI in bases-loaded situations for the Governors. The grand slam joins the freshman’s personal highlight reel that began with a two-out, game-tying two-run single that forced extra-innings in Austin Peay’s upset win at then-No. 1 Vanderbilt in February.
Tipler, Phillips and center fielder Garrett Spain each had two RBI to support the 12-run outburst. Spain went 2-for-4 at the plate to boost his batting average to .358 – tops among Ohio Valley Conference freshmen.
Ryan Kouba (1-0) was the beneficiary of the walk-off heroics, securing his first win after allowing one run in the top of the ninth while striking out the side. It was a rough night for the Govs pitching staff with seven pitchers combining to surrender a season-high tying 10 walks while striking out eight.
The Salukis posted just five hits in the contest, third baseman Grey Epps leading the way with a 2-for-3, two RBI outing. McDaniel (1-3), the fifth Salukis pitcher of the day, suffered the loss after allowing five runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Water Cooler Chatter
Cardiac Govs Return
For the second time in five days, Austin Peay walked off a game and again it was a freshman that did the damage. In Saturday’s Game 2 win against Morehead State, center fielder Garrett Spain’s hard hit fielder’s choice allowed the winning run to score. Tuesday it was Matthew Joslin’s turn with the walk-off grand slam – the first by a Govs hitter since 2017 (Alex Robles vs. Lipscomb).
Not only did Malcolm Tipler make his first start as the Govs designated hitter, but he also moved up the No. 3 spot in the order as catcher David Martinez got a much-needed day off. The junior seemed to do alright in the new roles, going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run in the second, a leadoff triple in the fifth and kicking off the game-winning ninth-inning rally with a five-pitch walk. He ultimately scored four times in the win.
Happy 50th Anniversary
Tuesday was the 50th anniversary of the first baseball game played by Austin Peay in its current location. Originally called Governors Park, Austin Peay kicked off its 50th year at Raymond C. Hand Park with the walk-off victory.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball begins a four-game road trip when it travels to UT Martin for a three-game OVC series scheduled to start Thursday, April 18th at Skyhawk Baseball Field.