Knoxville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball first baseman Parker Phillips opened the day with his program-record setting 20th home run, but the Governors could not fend off Tennessee in a 9-3 nonconference loss at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Phillips wasted no time hitting his record-breaking home run, powering the first pitch of his first-inning at-bat over the porch in left field for a 2-0 lead.
The homer broke his own record set last season and was his 51st career home run.
Tennessee (33-16) quickly erased the Govs early lead with two runs of its own in the first inning. Left fielder Alerick Soularie leveled the game with his two-run single.
After a scoreless second inning for both clubs, Austin Peay (26-20) ran into trouble in the third. Tennessee saw its first five batters of the frame reach base, leading to a five-run burst that broke the game open, 7-2.
Meanwhile, the Governors offense could not solve the Volunteers bullpen which took over in the second inning. Tennessee’s staff combined to toss 6.2 innings of scoreless relief before the Govs broke through for two runs in the ninth inning. Reliever Will Heflin (4-1) picked up the win with his 3.1 scoreless frames that saw him scatter two hits.
Third baseman Andrew Lipcius reached base in all four of his plate appearances, scoring each time, as part of a 2-for-2, two-walk day. Soularie and designated hitter Evan Russell each had two RBI.
Phillips finished the night 1-for-4 with two RBI. Right fielder Aaron Campbell reached base in all four of his plate appearances as part of a 3-for-3, one walk night. Third baseman Gino Avros also had two hits.
Reliever Sebastian Martinez (0-2), the second of seven pitchers used in the contest, surrendered three runs to start the third inning and was tagged for the loss. Following the third inning, Austin Peay saw four relievers combine to hold Tennessee to two runs over the final five innings, striking out six batters.
Water Cooler Chatter
Campbell Perfect Again
Right fielder Aaron Campbell again reached in every plate appearance, going 3-for-3 with a walk against Tennessee. It is the third time this season he has reached in every plate appearance in a game, joining a 4-for-4, two walk outing at UT Martin (April 21) and a 3-for-3, one walk day against Morehead State (April 12th).
Phillips Nears OVC Top 10
Phillips’ 20th home run places his just outside the OVC Top 10 list for single-season home runs. His next home run will move him into a tie for ninth with Eastern Kentucky’s Kyle Nowlin (2016) and Morehead State’s Kevin Matuszek (2002). The OVC single-season record is held by Morehead State’s Niko Hulsizer, who hit 27 home runs in 2017.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball continues its four-game road trip when it travels to Eastern Illinois for a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series against Eastern Illinois. The three-game set is scheduled to begin with a 3:00pm Friday, May 10th contest at Coaches Stadium in Charleston, Illinois.