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Austin Peay State University Baseball comes from behind to beat UT Martin, 12-10

APSU BaseballMartin, TN – Reserve center fielder Nathan Barksdale’s three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning – his first collegiate homer – proved to be the difference as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team held off UT Martin for a 12-10 Ohio Valley Conference victory, Sunday, at Skyhawk Field.

Austin Peay (13-2-, 6-3 OVC) completed a sweep of the three-game OVC series against the Skyhawks. It is the Governors’ first OVC series sweep since taking three at Eastern Illinois late in the 2019 season. Austin Peay State University moves to fourth in the league standings with league-leading Eastern Illinois set to visit Raymond C. Hand Park, Thursday-Saturday.

It was a game of two halves for the Governors as they spent the first five innings battling UT Martin starter Matt Dickey. Austin Peay State University went just 3-of-13 at the plate in those five scoreless innings and trailed 2-0 entering the sixth.
Austin Peay State University head coach Travis Janssen started making changes to his lineup in the sixth and things started to pick up at the plate. Pinch hitter Knaje Guthrie singled to start the sixth inning and later scored on a double play for APSU’s first run.
In the seventh, pinch hitter John McDonald walked and pinch hitter Michael Robinson hit a two-run double to right center, giving the APSU Govs a 3-2 lead. Guthrie then added to the lead with his two-out RBI single.

The Governors and Skyhawks each scored two runs in the eighth, leaving Austin Peay State University with a 6-4 lead entering what ended up being a wild ninth inning that saw both teams score six runs.

Austin Peay State University loaded the bases in the ninth in front of catcher Jack Alexander, who had been held hitless in his first four at-bats. APSU’s leading hitter promptly got his first hit with a single up the middle to drive in two runs. Barksdale, who entered in the bottom of the eighth on defense, took a 1-0 pitch and drove it over the wall in right-center field for a three-run home run and a 12-4 lead.

UT Martin (8-21, 1-8 OVC) did not go quietly as left fielder Will Smith opened the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run. The Skyhawks then loaded the bases with one out and pinch hitter Blaze Bell drove in two runs with a double. After an Austin Peay State University pitching change, catcher Cameron Brady hit a two-run double and the Govs lead was narrowed to 12-9.

Center fielder Reid Halfacre made it 12-10 with his ground out for the inning’s second out. But that seemed to give the Governors the reprieve they were seeking. Reliever Luke Brown induced another ground ball from the next UTM hitter for the game’s final out.

After recording a season-high 21 hits in Saturday’s victory against UT Martin, Austin Peay State University had 15 hits in Sunday’s finale. The Governors went 12-for-22 at the plate and scored all 12 of their runs over the game’s final four innings.

Off the bench, Barksdale went 1-for-1 with three RBI and Guthrie went 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI while playing all three outfield positions. McDonald went 1-for-2 with a RBI and Robinson went 1-for-2 with two RBI.

Right fielder Wil Lafaollette went 3-for-5 with three runs scored to spark the UT Martin offense. Brady, third baseman Nate Self, and center fielder Reid Halfacre – the Skyhawks 7-8-9 hitters – had two RBI each and were collectively 5-for-14 at the plate.

APSU reliever Peyton Jula (1-1) notched his season’s first win courtesy of the come-from-behind effort.

UT Martin reliever Tucker Reed (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing Austin Peay State University three runs in the seventh inning.


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