Clarksville, TN – A big fifth inning by visiting Arkansas State proved too much for the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team to overcome in an 11-5 nonconference loss, Saturday afternoon on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Arkansas State (13-22) again jumped out to an early lead but Austin Peay starter Sebastian Martinez limited the damage to single runs in the first in third innings.
In the first, the Red Wolves scored on right fielder Tyler Dunan’s single which left them with two runners on base with one out. However, the Govs defense ended the threat thanks to a slick double play started by second baseman Malcolm Tipler.
Two innings later, ASU opened the inning with a single and a double but used a sacrifice fly by left fielder Jaylon Deshazier to drive in a run. Two batters later, Martinez escaped the inning with a pop out and the Govs trailed 2-0.
However, Austin Peay State University (15-26) could not solve Arkansas State starter Will Nash. The right-hander opened the game with four no-hit innings while striking out three. He wouldn’t allow a base hit until shortstop John Bolton’s leadoff single in the fifth, but by then the Red Wolves had broken the game open.
Arkansas State opened the top of the fifth with four consecutive batters reaching safely, Deshazier driving in two runs with a single that ended Martinez’s day. ASU designated hitter greeted APSU reliever Tucker Weaver with a double to left-center field, to drive in a third run. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly would tack on two more runs and ASU had a five-run frame and a 7-0 lead.
First baseman Bobby Head ended the Red Wolves’ shutout bid in the sixth, hitting a 371-foot solo home run to left field with one out in the sixth. But Nash would strikeout the next two batters to end the inning.
Austin Peay State University would piece together a bigger threat in the seventh. Bolton and catcher Tyler Cotto each singled with one out and second baseman Malcolm Tipler was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two out. Center fielder Garrett Spain earned a bases-loaded walk to push across a run. Head then would hit a ball that was misplayed by the ASU second baseman, leading to two more runs. But ASU reliever Tyler Jeans recovered with a key strikeout to end the inning with Arkansas State holding an 8-4 lead.
The Governors would tack on another run in the eighth courtesy third baseman Gino Avros’ bases-loaded fielder’s choice, but could not get any closer than 8-5. The Red Wolves tacked on three runs in the ninth, third baseman Ben Klutts providing a two-run single, to set the final score.
Nash (2-4) held Austin Peay State University to one run on two hits and two walks while striking out six to earn the victory. Deshazier paced the ASU offense with a 3-for-5, four RBI outing.
Martinez (2-5) suffered the loss after allowing six runs on eight hits, recording six strikeouts in four-plus innings. Bolton had APSU’s lone multi-hit outing, going 2-for-4.
Austin Peay State University and Arkansas State close out their three-game series with a 1:00pm, Sunday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.