Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University baseball first baseman Parker Phillips hit an early solo home run, and the Governors pulled away late in a dominant 12-1 nonconference victory against Jacksonville, Friday night on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (24-21) got on the board in the first inning thanks to Phillips’ bat. He hammered a solo home run off the top of the scoreboard in left field to give the Govs an early 1-0 lead.
Phillips’ cousin, starting pitcher Josh Rye, made that run hold up as he held Jacksonville to one hit through the first four innings. He would allow a hit in both the fifth and sixth innings but did not surrender a run.
The Governors offense pulled away late, scoring in each of its final five innings. Catcher David Martinez and shortstop Garrett Kueber each drove had an RBI base hit in the fourth as the Austin Peay lead reached 3-1.
After the Dolphins defense aided single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, the Govs broke the game open with a four-run seventh. A balk, sac fly and a two-run single by designated hitter John McDonald provided the four runs to respond to the Dolphins lone tally in the top of the seventh.
Rye (7-3) set a career-high with his seventh victory this season, tossing six scoreless frames while striking out six of the 23 batters he faced. The Govs’ bullpen would allow a run on two hits but struck out six over the final three innings.
Phillips notched his 150th career RBI thanks to the solo shot in the first and went 2-for-2 with a double, homer and four runs scored. Center fielder Garrett Spain went 2-for-4 with three RBI, extending his reached safely streak to 42 games – tied for the second longest streak in program history. McDonald was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Jacksonville (24-21) broke up Austin Peay’s shutout bid in the seventh inning on center fielder Ruben Someillian’s double that was part of a 1-for-3, one RBI outing. Dolphins starter Tyler Santana suffered the loss after allowing four runs on seven hits over five innings.
Moment That Mattered
After Phillips’ solo home run gave him an early 1-0 lead, Austin Peay starter Josh Rye surrendered a leadoff single to the Dolphins clean-up hitter. But the Govs lefty induced a foul out before striking out the next two batters to post a key shutdown inning to support the early lead.
Water Cooler Chatter
Phillips 11th To 150
Phillips’ solo home run in the first also provided his 150th career RBI, making him the 12th Govs hitter to reach the 150-RBI milestone. He can quickly move through the bottom part of the Top 10 with 151 (Jordan Hankins and Jared Walker), 152 (Mark Turken) and 154 (Chris Hyde) holding down the 10th, 9th, and 8th spots, respectively.
Spain Ties Abbott
Garrett Spain, the Govs freshman center fielder, took care of extending his reached-safely streak early on. His first-inning single extended the streak to 43 games, tying Austin Peay Athletics Hall of Fame member Chuck Abbott (1996) for the second longest streak in program history. Spain now casts his eyes ahead to the program-record 48-game streak held by Joe Lancaster (1999).
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball and Jacksonville are scheduled to continue their three-game series with a 1:00pm, Saturday, May 4th contest at Raymond C. Hand Park. With inclement weather forecast for the Clarksville area, schedule changes will be available on LetsGoPeay.com or via Twitter by following @AustinPeayBSB.