Dallas, TX – Starting pitcher Nick James struck out six and shortstop Jon Jon Gazdar hit his first home run as the Austin Peay State University (APSU) baseball team fell narrowly, 4-3, to Dallas Baptist Saturday at Horner Ballpark.
With the game tied 2-2 after five innings, Dallas Baptist (6-0) capitalized on back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the sixth. Second baseman Miguel Santos singled to drive in the tiebreaking run and first baseman Nate Rombach’s sacrifice fly put the hosts ahead two runs, 4-2.
Austin Peay (2-4) would close to within a run thanks to Gazdar’s one-out solo shot in the seventh. The APSU Govs threated to tie the game later in the inning when pinch hitter Michael Robinson earned a walk to extend the inning. Dallas Baptist’s catcher then committed a throwing error attempting to pick Robinson off first base, allowing him to reach third base. But a soft line drive was snagged for the third out, ending the Govs final scoring threat.
Dallas Baptist closer Zane Russell took over to start the eighth inning and struck out four of the six batters he faced to notch his season’s first save. His outing helped starter Ricky Johnson (2-0) secure his second win after he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings of work.
James (1-1) struck out six batters over 5.2 innings and allowed four runs on four hits and two walks. Robinson closed the game with 2.1 innings of scoreless relief, striking out two while allowing one hit.
Votik led the Govs with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate. Harrison Brown and Gazdar each drove in a run.
Five DBU hitters recorded a hit each as they were held to five hits in the game.
Austin Peay and Dallas Baptist wrap up their three-game series with a noon, Saturday contest at Horner Ballpark.
How It Happened
Once again, Austin Peay State University got on the board in the first inning, loading the bases with no outs. Center fielder Colton Gray walked, right fielder Garrett Martin was hit by a pitch, and third baseman Ambren Voitik beat out an infield single.
The APSU Govs got one run home as Dallas Baptist turned a double play. Left fielder Harrison Brown singled up the middle and beat the throw to first while Votiik hustled all the way from second to score the Govs second run.
James backed up the early run support by retiring Dallas Baptist in order in the bottom of the first, striking out two batters. He then struck out two more batters in the second while keeping the Patriots off the board.
Neither team would score again until DBU got leadoff runners aboard again in the sixth. Poole and Mann both earned walks to start the inning. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners and Miguel Santos drove in a run with a single to left field. First baseman Nate Rombach followed with a sacrifice fly, ending James’ day on the mound. Reliever Jackie Robinson took over and quickly recorded the final out with the Govs trailing 4-2.
Gazdar got one of those runs back in the seventh with a one-out solo home run off the top of the right-field wall to halve the deficit. Pinch hitter Michael Robinson kept the inning alive with a two-out walk and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt by the catch. However, the Govs were unable to get the hit they needed and remained a run behind.
Number of Note
Six. Third baseman Ambren Voitik extended his season-opening hit streak to six games with his 2-for-4 outing at Dallas Baptist. It was his third two-hit game of the season.
Governor of the Game
Starting pitcher Nick James moved the bar for the Governors’ starting rotation higher in his second start. He set APSU season bests in strikeouts (6) and innings pitched (5.2). He struck out four of the first seven batters he faced.
Austin Peay State University hit a home run for the fourth consecutive game with 10 home runs in that span.
ASPU’s 11 home runs in its first six games and the season’s first eight days. It took until March 21st and Game 17 for the Govs to hit 1 home runs last season.
Reliever Jackie Robinson made his longest outing of the season, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings against the Patriots. He had pitched two innings over three outings prior to today’s game.
Gazdar’s home run was estimated at 366 feet.
Garrett Martin reached base safely for the fifth consecutive game.
Austin Peay State University has scored seven runs in two games against Dallas Baptist, topping its total of six runs in the three-game set during the 2021 season.