Clarksville, TN – Seven Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball pitchers combined for 17 strikeouts and did not allow a run after the first inning as the Governors’ baseball team handed head coach Roland Fanning his first victory as a head coach courtesy a 9-1 victory against Illinois State, Saturday on Joe Maynard Field at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Clarksville-native Nick James (1-0) struck out six batters in his four innings to pick up the win in his APSU debut. Relievers Devin Crawford (2 strikeouts), Zach Wyatt (1), Jackie Robinson (2), Tyler Hampu (3), and Paul Rector (3) completed the 17-strikeout effort. It was the most strikeouts by the Govs pitchers since a 17-strikeout outing against Tennessee Tech in 2019.
Offensively, the Govs broke out the batters in the fourth inning, scoring four runs on five hits. Left fielder Harrison Brown gave Austin Peay State University the lead with an RBI ground out. Second baseman Matt Aribal added an RBI single, and shortstop Jon Jon Gazdar added an RBI double for a 4-1 lead. APSU would tack on a run in the fifth and two in the sixth and seventh innings to secure the win.
Aribal, making his APSU debut, went 4-for-4 with a double and RBI. Gazdar was 2-for-3 with a double and four RBI.
Illinois State starter Tyrelle Chadwick (0-1), who retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, allowed four runs on five hits in 3.2 innings. First baseman Shay Kubo was 2-for-4 and drove in the Redbirds’ only run with a first-inning single.
How It Happened
James struck out the first two batters he faced but ran into trouble in the heart of the Illinois State order with third baseman Greg Nichols, designated hitter Noah Rabin, and first baseman Shay Kubo hitting consecutive singles – Kubo driving in the game’s first run.
After allowing three of the Redbirds’ five hits in the first inning, James retired the next seven batters he faced. He would allow a walk to Rabin and a single to Kubo to start the fourth, but struck out the next three batters he faced to end the threat and his outing.
Chadwick opened with three scoreless innings, retiring nine of the first 10 batters he faced. Aribal notched the APSU Govs first hit in that opening stretch with a leadoff single in the third.
Right fielder Garrett Martin lead off the fourth with a single, stole second base, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on third baseman Ambren Voitik’s game-tying single. Designated hitter Lyle Miller-Green followed with a single before Harrison Brown broke the tie with his ground out that allowed Voitik to score.
Aribal supplied a two-out RBI single to end Chadwick’s outing. Gazdar greeted the Redbirds’ reliever with a double down the left-field line, scoring Aribal for a 4-0 lead.
After scoring a run in the fifth, Austin Peay tacked on two in the sixth: Aribal doubled and scored on Gazdar’s sacrifice fly. Catcher Trevor Conley doubled and scored on Martin’s RBI single. The APSU Govs two-run seventh saw the Govs load the bases with one out, Gazdar greeting the Redbirds’ fourth pitcher with a two-run single to cap the scoring.
Austin Peay State University’s bullpen allowed a hit and two walks over the final five innings. The six relievers combined to strike out 11 of the 18 batters they faced.
Number of Note
17 – Austin Peay State University pitchers struck out 17 of the 32 batters they faced Saturday. The last time the APSU Govs struck out 17 batters in a game was in a 10-4 victory against Tennessee Tech in 2019. J
acques Pucheu struck out 12 batters in six innings, Sebastian Martinez struck out four in his two innings and Drew Hurst tacked on the final strikeout in the ninth.
Governor of the Game
Matt Aribal starred in his debut, going 4-for-4 at the plate. He notched the APSU Govs’ first base hit, then supplied the Govs’ third run with a RBI single in the fourth. Aribal led off the sixth inning with a double, stole a base, and scored. He wrapped up his day with a seventh-inning single.
Austin Peay State University’s nine-run outburst was its largest run production since scoring 13 runs in a loss at SIU Edwardsville, April 23rd, 2022 – a 17-game stretch between games.
Aribal’s four-hit day was the first by a Governors’ hitter since TJ Foreman’s four-hit game against Western Kentucky on May 10th, 2022.
James becomes the first Clarksville native to start and win a game for Austin Peay State University since Collin Loose’s victory against Western Michigan in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season finale on March 11th, 2020.
APSU successfully stole three bases – Aribal, Voitik, and Martin each nabbing their first base.
Voitik and Lyle Miller-Green each extended their hit streak to two games. Conner Gore joined them as Governors to reach base safely in the season’s first two games.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
The Austin Peay State University baseball team and Illinois State, who have split their first two games, complete their three-game series with a Sunday contest at Hand Park that begins at 1:00pm