Clarksville, TN – Down three runs late, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team rallied to tie the game 3-3 and force extra innings. The Govs, however fell 4-3 in 10 innings to Jacksonville State, Thursday night, in Ohio Valley Conference action on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
With the win, Jacksonville State (32-21, 20-8 OVC) takes a one-game lead in the OVC regular-season championship with two games remaining. Austin Peay State University (30-21, 19-9 OVC) will need to win the final two games of the series to claim the title.
Austin Peay fell into a three-run hole through three innings and could not solve Jacksonville State starter Garrett Farmer through six innings. Shortstop Garrett Kueber was the only Govs hitter to reach base in those first frames, earning a walk in the first and hitting a leadoff double in the fourth
The Governors broke through on the scoreboard in the seventh with right fielder Parker Phillips’ leadoff home run to left field. His 22nd homer of 2019 cut the deficit to 3-1.
APSU would rally in the eighth with back-to-back singles to start the inning. Third baseman Gino Avros drove in a run with a single down the left field line. After shortstop Garrett Kueber loaded the bases with a single, Phillips stepped to the plate and earned a five-pitch walk to push home the game-tying run. However, Austin Peay saw its chance to take the lead denied as the Gamecocks turned a double play to end the frame.
After a scoreless ninth, Jacksonville State opened the 10th with back-to-back singles. First baseman Andrew Naismith earned a six-pitch walk to load the bases and second baseman Devin Brown drove in a run with a deep fly out to right. Governors reliever Brett Newberg would strike out the next two batters he faced to keep the Govs within a run.
Jacksonville State closer Christian Edwards struck out the first two APSU batters he faced in the 10th before allowing a single to Avros. However, Kueber was called out on a check-swing third strike to end the game.
The Gamecocks won in their last at-bat for the fifth time in their last six games after squandering an early three-run lead. Center Fielder Tre Kirklin opened the game with a leadoff home run in the first and a pair of Govs defensive miscues aided in a second run scoring. JSU tacked on a third run in the third, capitalizing on a leadoff base hit when catcher Nic Gaddis doubled down the left field line.
Phillips finished the day 1-for-3 with two RBI to lead the Austin Peay offense. Avros and Kueber also had two hits each. The three runs scored was Austin Peay’s lowest run total in a conference game since the UT Martin series opener, April 20.
Gaddis and Alexander each went 2-for-5 with an RBI to lead Jacksonville State’s offense. Edwards (6-5) picked up the victory with two scoreless innings of relief, striking out three. JSU starter Garrett Farmer was left with no decision, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out a career-high tying 12 batters in 7.1 innings.
Moment That Mattered
Jacksonville State starter Garrett Farmer appeared to be a man on a mission, holding the Govs to three base runners through the first six innings and striking out 11 of the first 20 batters he faced. However, Governors right fielder Parker Phillips put a dent in that outing with his 22nd home run of 2019, a majestic blast to left field that broke up Farmers shutout bid and gave the Govs new hope.
Water Cooler Chatter
Newberg One Away
Reliever Brett Newberg made his 99th career appearance in Thursday’s loss. Already the Govs career appearances leader, his next appearance will make him the first Govs pitcher with 100 career appearances.
Multi Hit Kueber
Shortstop Garrett Kueber was the Govs lone bright spot through the first six innings. He was the only Govs hitter to reach base, earning a first-inning walk and leading off the third inning with a double. Kueber’s eighth-inning single gave him his sixth multi-hit game in his last 10 played.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball and Jacksonville State resume their three-game series at 6:00pm, Friday, May 17th. Jacques Pucheu (7-3, 2.53 ERA) will square off against the Gamecocks’ Isaiah Magwood (1-0, 4.34 ERA).