STARKVILLE, Miss. – Austin Peay State University’s baseball team saw an upset opportunity melt away in the late innings of a 13-5 loss to nationally-ranked Mississippi State, Tuesday, at Dudy Noble Field.
Austin Peay (19-5) matched Mississippi State for six and a half innings and was tied 5-5 after left fielder Cody Hudson’s RBI single in the top of the seventh.
Mississippi State (22-6) broke the game open with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and a five-run eighth inning. The Bulldogs took advantage of two walks and three consecutive hits in the seventh inning. First baseman Wes Rea, designated hitter Trey Porter and catcher Nick Ammirati each drove in a run.
The Bulldogs eighth inning was assisted by a pair of walks and an error. Rea again batted in a run with a single and Ammirati wrapped up the scoring with a two-run single.
Austin Peay scored the game’s first runs as shortstop Reed Harper drove home two with a bases-loaded single in the first inning. Then, after the Bulldogs scored four runs in the bottom of the frame, the Govs tallied two runs to tie the game in the second as right fielder Rolando Gautier and center fielder Dylan Riner each had RBI singles.
The Govs used nine pitchers in the contest. Junior Kacy Kemmer had APSU’s longest outing with two scoreless innings in the second and third frames. Junior Ryan Quick tossed a scoreless fourth before senior Casey Delgado added a scoreless fifth.
Freshman Jared Carkuff started the contest and faced eight batters in the first inning, allowing four runs, but the Govs battled back and tied the game after his departure. Freshman Hunter Lindley (0-1) allowed three runs in the eighth and was tagged for the loss.
Gautier posted his second consecutive three-hit outing, finishing 3-for-4 with a RBI. Harper added a 1-for-4, two RBI performance. The Govs offense notched nine hits and earned six walks against the Bulldogs pitching staff.
Mississippi State reliever Myles Gentry – the last of four pitchers for MSU – picked up the win after holding Austin Peay scoreless over the final 2.2 innings. Starter Will Cox allowed four runs over 1.1 innings but did not factor into the decision.
Porter led Mississippi State’s 11-hit outing with a 2-for-4, three RBI performance that included a two-run home run in the first inning.
Austin Peay continues its road trip with a three-game Ohio Valley Conference series at Murray State, beginning with a 3 p.m., Thursday contest.