Evansville, IN – The Austin Peay State University baseball team pitching staff opened Friday’s doubleheader against Purdue Fort Wayne with 11 scoreless innings, leading the Governors to wins in both ends of the twin bill, 9-0 and 6-5, at German American Bank Field.
In the opener, Austin Peay State University (5-9) pitchers Nick James and Campbell Holt combined for the seven-inning shutout. James struck out three batters in the first two innings before departing.
Holt (2-0) followed with a career-best five innings, striking out six and scattering three hits and two walks en route to becoming the first APSU Govs pitcher with two wins this season.
The Governors offense used a four-run second inning to provide all the offense needed in Game 1. Left fielder Harrison Brown’s sacrifice fly provided the first run, shortstop Jaden Brown added a two-run single. Austin Peay State University tacked on a fourth run when first baseman Michael Robinson scored on a wild throw attempting to cut down a base stealer.
Austin Peay State University added a fifth run in the fifth inning courtesy Garrett Martin’s sixth home run of 2023. The Govs then closed the scoring with another four-run inning in the sixth, Robinson driving in two runs with a double.
Jaden Brown finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI, Martin was 2-for-3 with two RBI, and Robinson was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Austin Peay posted 10 hits in the seven-inning affair.
Purdue Fort Wayne starter JD Deany (1-2) surrendered four runs on five hits and three walks in four innings of work. The Mastodons’ offense was held to three hits.
Austin Peay State University jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the nightcap but had to hold on late as Purdue Fort Wayne broke onto the scoreboard in the fifth inning before leaving the tying run on base in the eighth inning.
It was another four-run inning that put the APSU Govs out front early. Austin Peay State University sent nine batters to the plate in the second inning. Harrison Brown drove in a run with a double, third baseman Ambren Voitik hit a RBI single, and center fielder Clayton Gray closed the inning’s scoring with a two-run double for the 4-0 lead.
ASPU would add a run in the third after shortstop Jon Jon Gazdar opened the inning with a double and later scored on second baseman Matthew Aribal’s safety squeeze. The Govs extended their lead to 6-0 with a run in the fourth inning as Gray got aboard with a one-out single and scored on designated hitter Lyle Miller-Green’s fielder’s choice.
Purdue Fort Wayne (2-13) ended an 11-inning scoring drought in the fifth inning. Right fielder Isaiah Hart doubled to start the inning and scored on third baseman Eli Tencza’s sacrifice fly. Designated hitter Luke Miles would cut the Govs lead to 6-2 with a RBI double later in the inning.
The Mastodons added two more runs in the sixth and closed to within a run in the eighth after first baseman Braedon Blackford’s leadoff home run. Two batters later, Hart tripled with one out and represented the tying run. APSU Govs reliever Tyler Hampu ended the threat with a strikeout and a weak ground out to first base to close the inning.
Reliever Davin Pollard retired all three batters he faced in the ninth to seal the win and pick up the first save by a Governors pitcher in 2023. Starter Jackie Robinson (1-0) went six innings in his first start as a Governor and allowed four runs on five hits, striking out five batters to notch his first win.
Blackford’s 2-for-4, one RBI, two run-scored effort paced Purdue Fort Wayne, which notched eight hits in Game 2. Starter Rex Stills (0-4) allowed six runs on eight hits in his 3.1-inning outing.
Number of Note
.800 – Second baseman Jon Jon Gazdar went 4-for-5 with three doubles in Friday’s doubleheader. He also walked once, was hit by a pitch once, and scored four times.
Governor of the Game
In the opening game, the hat tip had to go to reliever Campbell Holt and his career-long five innings of relief. He struck out a career-best six batters and held Purdue Fort Wayne to three hits and two walks.
Making his first start at any level for the first time since 2020, Jackie Robinson supplied a much-needed career-best six innings. He also set a career-best with five strikeouts and opened the game with four scoreless innings before surrendering two runs in the fifth and sixth innings while holding a 6-0 lead.
Austin Peay State University improved to 3-0 during the Evansville portion of its now 10-game road trip.
Led by Gazdar’s three doubles, Austin Peay State University posted eight doubles in Friday’s doubleheader. The Govs now have 28 doubles in their first 14 games.
APSU pitchers recorded 18 strikeouts in 16 innings Friday. They now have 140 strikeouts in 115 innings pitched during 2023.
Jaden Brown’s reached safely streak reached 11 games with his 2-for-4, three RBI effort in the opener.
Lyle Miller-Green extended his hit streak to seven games with a 2-for-2 outing in the opener, but saw the streak end in Game 2 after going 0-for-4 with an RBI.
Gray, Gazdar, and Conley now have the longest hit streak on the team at five games each.
Gray’s two RBI in Game 2 was his first multi-RBI outing this season.
Brown had his first three-RBI performance of 2023 in Game 1 and it was his team-leading fifth multi-RBI outing.
Next Up For APSU Baseball
The Austin Peay State University baseball team and Purdue Fort Wayne continue the four-game series with a Saturday 11:00am doubleheader at German American Bank Park. The start of the twin bill has been moved up two hours due to rain forecast for the Evansville area Saturday night.