MARTIN, Tenn. – Senior starting pitcher Casey Delgado struck out 16 batters – the most by a pitcher since 1996 – leading Austin Peay State University’s baseball team to a 5-1 Ohio Valley Conference victory against UT Martin, Saturday, at Skyhawk Field.
Delgado allowed one run in his complete-game victory and that came in the game’s first four batters. He surrendered a leadoff single to center fielder Grant Glasser and a two-out RBI single to pitcher Taylor Cox. Those would be two of the three hits he would surrender on the day.
Delgado would strike out two batters in the first inning and that would be the game’s running theme. He would strike out two batters in eight of the nine innings he pitched. The only time he did not strike out two batters was the sixth inning and he needed only six pitches to induce three consecutive ground outs.
The most impressive stat of the game was Delgado retired the final 22 batters he faced. In fact, he faced the minimum of 25 batters after surrendering the RBI single in the first inning. He would allow a one-out single in the second inning, but battery mate P.J. Torres caught that runner stealing to end the frame.
Still the Austin Peay (37-13, 18-7 OVC) offense trailed 1-0 through four innings but would tie the game in the fifth. Center fielder Dylan Riner led off the inning with a single, stole second and scored on second baseman Brett Carlson’s single up the middle. The Govs would go on to load the bases with no outs but second baseman Jordan Hankins lined into an inning-ending triple play, thwarting the threat.
The Govs finally broke through in the sixth inning, striking for four runs. First baseman Craig Massoni started the inning with a single and scored courtesy shortstop Reed Harper’s double. Harper would then score on left fielder Cody Hudson’s single, giving APSU a 3-1 lead. Hudson would steal second and forced a wild throw from the catcher that allowed him to reach third. From there he scored on designated hitter Michael Davis’ double, a hit that ended Cox’s outing on the mound.
UTM reliever Carter Smith would surrender a single to catcher P.J. Torres before recording the inning’s first out. Carlson would push across the Govs fifth run with a groundout before Smith could snuff out the threat.
Austin Peay rapped out 13 hits – its seventh consecutive double-digit hit outing – with every batter recording one hit. Massoni led the Govs with a 3-for-4 outing, giving him six hits in the first two games of the series. Carlson added a 1-for-4, two RBI performance while Harper and Torres had two hits each.
Cox (0-6) suffered the loss after allowing five runs on 11 hits over five-plus innings. Glasser, Cox and Nelson each had one hit.
Austin Peay and UT Martin conclude their three-game OVC series with a 1 p.m., Sunday contest. That game will be available on the OVC Digital Network.