Marion, IL – Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball designated hitter Matt Joslin hit a game-tying home run in the fifth inning but the Governors could not hold off a late Jacksonville State rally in an 8-4 loss in the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship, Friday at Rent One Park.
The Governors had the day’s first scoring opportunity as third baseman Gino Avros singled, stole second and advanced to third on an error with one out.
But the Govs could not advance him home as Gamecocks starter Isiah Magwood notched a strikeout and ground out to end the threat.
Jacksonville State got the next scoring change after an error started the third inning. The Gamecocks took advantage of the miscue two batters later when catcher Alex Webb doubled to drive in the run for a 1-0 lead
Austin Peay would tie the game in the fifth with Joslin’s leadoff home run. The Govs then had Magwood on the ropes with two runners on base with one out. But the Gamecocks starter again escaped the inning with the game still tied 1-1.
Jacksonville State would not allow the game to be tied for long. After a leadoff walk, Webb again provided the tiebreaking hit with a single to right field. The Gamecocks extended their lead with a three-run sixth inning that saw the first three batters reach base safely and ultimately score.
After Austin Peay got a run back in the seventh, the Gamecocks pieced together another three-run frame. JSU right fielder Nash Adams’ two-run triple provided eventual game-winning runs.
The Governors would piece together a ninth-inning rally with four batters reaching base with one out. Center fielder Garrett Spain pushed in a run with a bases-loaded walk and left fielder Aaron Campbell added a run with his sacrifice fly. However, Austin Peay could not extend the rally with a strikeout ending the game.
Magwood (3-0) picked up his second consecutive win against Austin Peay, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out eight batters over 6.2 innings. Reliever Corley Woods recorded the final out to notch his second save.
Webb was 3-for-5 with two RBI and Adams was 1-for-3 with three RBI to lead the JSU offense.
Austin Peay starter Brandon Vial (3-4) was left with the loss despite holding Jacksonville State to two runs on three hits over his 4.2-inning outing that saw him strike out six.
Avros and Phillips each had two hits to lead the Govs offense. Campbell recorded his 12 RBI of the championship in a 1-for-4, one RBI effort.
Moment That Mattered
Austin Peay did not go gently into the loser’s bracket, forcing Jacksonville State to use a trio of pitchers in the ninth to quell an APSU rally. Third baseman Gino Avros and shortstop Garrett Kueber earned back-to-back walks to end one relievers outing.
The next Gamecocks pitcher saw right fielder Parker Phillips load the bases before center fielder Garrett Spain earned another walk to push home a run and end the pitcher’s outing. The third JSU pitcher had more success, surrendering a run on a sacrifice fly before getting a called third strike to end the game.
Water Cooler Chatter
12 RBI Of Campbell
With his ninth-inning sacrifice fly, left fielder Aaron Campbell pushed his RBI total for the OVC Baseball Championship to 12, extending his own record. At that point in the tournament no other hitter had more than five RBI in tourney play.
Seven-Hit Weeks, So Far
Campbell and Phillips now have seven hits each in the Govs first three games of the Championship. Phillips is 7-for-13 (.538) with a double while Campbell is 7-for-14 (.500) with three home runs.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
APSU Baseball (32-24) falls into the loser’s bracket where it will await an opponent to be determined for a noon, Saturday contest. Jacksonville State (36-21) will await the winner of that contest for a 4:00pm, Saturday, May 24th matchup in the championship round.