Clarksville, TN – Starting pitcher Drew McIllwain struck out a career-high nine batters, leading a pitching effort that struck out a season-high 13 batters as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team clinched its Ohio Valley Conference series against Murray State with a 7-4 victory, Sunday on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
McIllwain (4-6) controlled the action through his six innings. He would allow solo home runs in the third and fourth innings for two of the three hits he allowed, McIllwain struck out the side in the fourth to begin a stretch that saw him retire nine of the final 10 batters he faced.
The APSU Govs staked McIllwain to an early four-run lead in the second inning. The first three batters of the inning reached base and a passed ball allowed first baseman John McDonald to score. Shortstop John Bolton drove in the inning’s second run with a single to end Murray State starting pitcher Adrien Reese’s outing.
Austin Peay State University’s offense greeted the Racers reliver with left fielder Gino Avros earning a walk to load the bases again. Center fielder TJ Foreman drove a ball past the third baseman for an error that resulted in two runs scoring, extending the lead to 4-0 before Murray State could close the inning.
Murray State (26-21, 10-11 OVC) closed within a run in the seventh inning. After an error to start the inning, left fielder Jordan Holly hit a two-run home run and Austin Peay State University led 5-4 after seven.
The APSU Govs added two insurance runs in the eighth with Avros driving a double off the top of the wall in right center to score right fielder Jeremy Wagner and Bolton, extending the lead to 7-4.
Luke Brown would close the game with two scoreless innings to secure the Govs’ win and pick up his second save of 2022. McIllwain notched the win after allowing two runs on three hits and three walks over his six innings.
Reese (2-3) was saddled with the loss for the Racers after allowing four runs on three hits and two walks in 1.1 innings.
Bolton’s 2-for-4, RBI, and two-run scored outing was the Govs lone multi-hit outing in a nine-hit day. Avros finished 1-for-4 with two RBI.
Designated hitter Jacob Pennington homered in the third as part of his 2-for-5 outing. First baseman Brennan McCullough led off the fourth with a home run in his 2-for-4 day.
About the APSU Baseball
The Austin Peay State University baseball team closes its homestand with a Tuesday 6:00pm contest against Western Kentucky (16-30, 7-17 C-USA) in an outing that will be the Govs final midweek game of 2022.