Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team came through with a three run seventh inning to give enough breathing room to post a 13-11 Ohio Valley Conference victory against SIU Edwardsville on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park. With the win, Austin Peay completed a sweep of the three-game league series.
The opening four innings featured three ties, four lead changes and the teams tied 10-10. SIUE (16-25, 8-13 OVC) used a pair of four-run innings to take leads of 4-0 after the top of the second inning and 10-7 after the top of the fourth.
Austin Peay (24-18, 16-8 OVC) responded to the Cougars second-inning rally with six runs to take the lead. In the fourth, the Governors scored three runs to tie the game.
After a couple of scoreless frames, Austin Peay would break the 10-10 tie with its three-run seventh inning. Pinch hitter Malcolm Tipler started the frame with a single and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and left fielder Aaron Campbell’s single.
Right fielder Parker Phillips would break the tie with a line drive to center field that was just deep enough for Tipler to score in front of the throw.
The Governors weren’t done in the seventh, catcher David Martinez driving in a second run with a single that also pushed center fielder Garrett Spain to third base. Spain would score as the Govs were successful in a delayed double steal that saw Martinez caught out after Spain touched home for the 13-10 lead.
SIUE would have opportunities to rally in the final two innings against closer Brett Newberg, who was making his third relief appearance of the weekend.
The Cougars would plate a run in the eighth when a one-out walk was driven in two batters later when the Govs couldn’t complete a double play. But SIUE would leave a runner on base in that inning and also in the ninth as Newberg struck out the final three batters of the game.
Austin Peay reliever Greg Leban (3-0) was the fifth man out of the bullpen and tossed two scoreless innings, striking out two, to pick up the win. Newberg struck out five of the nine batters he faced over the final two innings to notch his sixth save.
SIUE reliever Tyler Hutchinson (1-2) allowed two runs in the decisive seventh inning and was dealt the loss. Catcher Brock Weimer went 2-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Cougars offense.
Moment That Mattered
The late rally notwithstanding, it was the Governors second-inning rally that may have had a bigger impact. After watching SIUE send nine men to the plate and score four times, Austin Peay came to the plate seeking a response. That response saw 10 Governors parade to the plate, six of those scoring.
Shortstop Garrett Kueber two-run home run got the Govs started and second baseman Bobby Head, left fielder Aaron Campbell and right fielder Parker Phillips also supplied run-scoring plays as the Govs took a 6-4 lead.
Water Cooler Chatter
42 And Counting
After a late walk helped center fielder Garrett Spain extend his reached safely streak both Friday and Saturday, he made sure to take care of business earlier Sunday. His fourth-inning single extended his streak to 42 games and just one game shy of Chuck Abbott’s 43-game streak in 1996 – currently the second longest reached safely stretch in program history.
Newberg Ties Appearance Mark
With an appearance in all three games of the SIUE series, reliever Brett Newberg tied the Governors career appearance mark. His 95 career appearances equals the mark set by Brad Daniel (2003-06) with a minimum of three weeks remaining in Newberg’s career.
What The Win Meant
Jacksonville State, the Governors opponent during the regular season’s final week, will get the opportunity to make up ground, sitting just one-half game behind the co-leaders at 14-7.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball will take the upcoming week off for finals week and returns to action for a nonconference series against Jacksonville, starting with a 6:00pm, Friday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.