Clarksville, TN – The Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team could not overcome an early deficit and dropped the opening game of its three-game nonconference series against Arkansas State, 12-7, Friday night on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay State University starting pitcher Luke Brown (3-1) began the game with two walks and, after a visit to the mound by head coach Travis Janssen, a single to load the bases.
He would surrender a run on a well-turned double play by the APSU Govs defense and escaped the inning with just a run allowed.
However, Brown would not return for the second inning for precautionary reasons, leaving the APSU Govs bullpen to piece together the rest of the game. Ultimately, five relievers would see action as Arkansas State took advantage of the sudden change in pitching plans.
Arkansas State (12-22) would not miss an opportunity to score more than a run in the second inning. The Red Wolves got a run-scoring double from first baseman Jared Toler and a RBI single from catcher Liam Hicks to push the lead to 3-0. An error extended the inning and allowed a run to score and right fielder Tyler Duncan drove in a fourth run, extending the lead to 5-0.
Austin Peay State University (15-25) would score in the third when second baseman Knaje Guthrie doubled and later scored on a wild pitch. But Arkansas State struck for four runs again in the fourth with Toler driving in three runs with a double, the lead hitting eight runs, 9-1, after four innings.
The Governors would chip away at the deficit with a run in the fifth and four runs in the sixth, closing to within three runs, 9-6. Left fielder Jeremy Wagner had a run-scoring triple and right fielder Harrison Brown followed with a RBI double as part of the sixth-inning outburst.
Arkansas State secured its lead with a three-run eighth inning. Pinch hitter Will Huber hit a two-run home run down the right-field line and center fielder Drew Tipton followed immediately with a solo home run to give ASU a 12-6 lead it would not relinquish.
Red Wolves starter Brandon Hudson (3-1) went five innings, holding the Govs to two runs on four hits to notch the victory. Toler went 2-for-4 with four RBI to pace the ASU offense.
Wagner and Guthrie each had two hits and a RBI to lead the APSU Govs offense. Shortstop John Bolton was 0-for-1 with three walks and two runs scored.
Austin Peay State University and Arkansas State continue their three-game series with a 2:00pm, Saturday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.