Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) pitcher Harley Gollert tossed six innings of scoreless relief, leading the Governors to a 13-8 victory in the opening game of Friday’s Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader against Belmont, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
In the nightcap, Belmont used a two-run ninth inning to salvage a split of the twin bill with a 3-2 victory.
The Govs and Bruins are scheduled to complete the three-game OVC series with a 1:00pm, Saturday contest.
The day’s first game was a wild affair with neither team’s starting pitcher making it past the fourth inning and the teams combining for 16 runs in an 8-8 tie. In the resulting battle of bullpens, Gollert (1-3) led the way with his six scoreless innings, scattering two hits and three walks while striking out six batters to earn the win.
Austin Peay (6-14, 3-5 OVC) broke the tie in the sixth inning with a three-run outburst. The APSU Govs saw their first three batters reach base safely in front of shortstop Bobby Head, whose deep sacrifice fly broke the tie. After a walk, catcher Jack Alexander found the right-center gap for a two-run double, giving APSU an 11-3 lead. One inning later, Matt Joslin supplied two more runs with a pinch-hit single, setting the final score.
In the second game, APSUs starter Nolan O’Shoney was stellar in his own right, surrendering a run in the first inning before running off a streak of six scoreless innings. He would not factor into the decision despite scattering three hits and striking out five over seven innings.
Austin Peay State University’s offense provided O’Shoney early run support with a run in both the third and fourth inning. Left fielder Knaje Guthrie helped APSU take advantage of a Belmont error with a run-scoring double down the first baseline. Right fielder TJ Foreman supplied the fourth inning’s run with his first home run of 2021.
But after Austin Peay State University took its 2-1 lead, the offenses were kept off the board. The Govs and Bruins pitching staffs dueled through four scoreless innings with both teams threatening but unable to breakthrough.
Belmont (7-11, 4-4 OVC) broke the scoreless streak in the ninth. Right fielder John Behrends line drive to centerfield eluded the APSU Govs defender and resulted in a one-out double. Third baseman Logan Jarvis singled to tie the game and then stole second base. First baseman Brodey Heaton followed with another single, giving Belmont a 3-2 lead.
Bruins reliever Kyle Brennan (1-2) picked up the win after retiring the Govs in order in the bottom of the ninth to complete his 1.1-inning outing.
Third baseman Gino Avros went 3-for-3 with three runs scored in Game 1 and followed that with a 1-for-4 outing that included a walk. Head was 1-for-3 with four RBI in the day’s first game. Foreman had the APSU Govs only multi-hit outing in Game 2, going 2-for-4 with a RBI.
Belmont first baseman Brodey Heaton had three RBI as part of a 1-for-3 performance in Game 1 and was 1-for-4 with a RBI in the nightcap. Lett fielder Carson Shacklett had the Bruins only multi-hit game in Game 2, going 2-for-4.