Clarksville, TN – Outfielder TJ Foreman delivered a pinch-hit two-run single and closer Austin Carder picked up his season’s first save as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team battled to win the nightcap of a season-opening doubleheader against Eastern Michigan, Saturday, on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Foreman’s eighth-inning single put the Governors ahead 7-6, and Carder struck out three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to pick up the save in Game 2. Eastern Michigan used four home runs to dominate the season opener, a game it eventually won 16-8.
Austin Peay State University (1-1) grabbed the early lead in the nightcap courtesy outfielder Skyler Luna’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the first. The Govs would maintain that lead until the third inning when the Eagles took advantage of a defensive miscue to score three times and take a 3-1 lead.
Eastern Michigan (1-1) extended its lead to 4-1 with a run in the top of the fifth. Yet the APSU Govs bounced back with solo home runs by catcher Alex Hay and third baseman Gino Avros, trimming the deficit to 4-3.
After the Eagles scored twice in the top of the seventh, Austin Peay State University responded with two runs of its own as Avros doubled down the right-field line. However, the Govs would see a bases-loaded opportunity erased by an inning-ending strikeout, leaving the Govs in a 6-5 hole.
Austin Peay State University would have to overcome Eastern Michigan’s hard-throwing reliever Wagoner in the eighth. Wagoner struck out the first two batters he faced but walked left-handed hitters Hay and second baseman Malcolm Tipler. Wagoner then uncorked a wild pitch, advancing the runners into scoring position. Foreman would rifle a 3-1 pitch back past Wagoner and into center field, providing the go-ahead run.
Carder entered in the ninth and nailed down the save in his first appearance, striking out three batters looking to end the game. Reliever Tucker Weaver (1-0) picked up the win after 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
Home runs, and Eastern Michigan shortstop Taylor Hopkins, dominated the season opener. Hopkins went 3-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI in the day’s first game. He hit a two-run home run in the fifth to tie the game after the Govs took a 4-2 lead. Hopkins added a three-run home run in the sixth to give the Eagles the lead for good, 8-5.
Luke McGuire (1-0) toss six innings of relief in the opener to pick up the win, limiting the Govs to four runs over six innings. Austin Peay State University relief Ryan Kouba (0-1) was tagged for the loss after allowing four runs in 1.1 innings of work.
Avros finished the day 5-for-10 at the plate and was a triple shy of the cycle in the nightcap, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBI. Luna supplied four RBI in his Austin Peay State University debut, going 3-for-8 in the twin bill.
Next Up For Austin Peay State University Baseball
The Austin Peay State University baseball team and Eastern Michigan conclude their opening weekend series with a 1:00pm Sunday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.