CLARKSVILLE - Left fielder Cody Hudson's line drive cleared the wall in right for a walk-off three-run home run as Austin Peay State University's baseball team won a wild 10-7 decision against Michigan State, Monday night, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Austin Peay (9-2) trailed 7-4 after six innings and used the final three innings to mount its comeback. The Govs tied the game with a three-run seventh frame that included an RBI single by first baseman Craig Massoni, a RBI fielder's choice by Hudson and a RBI double by catcher P.J. Torres.
Two innings later, the Govs took advantage of a leadoff walk issued to second baseman Jordan Hankins followed by Massoni being hit by a pitch as he recoiled from an attempted bunt. Michigan State reliever Justin Alleman struck out shortstop Reed Harper for the inning's first out. However, he left a 1-1 pitch where Hudson could get to it and he drove the ball over the wall in right for the Govs first walk-off victory.
Austin Peay jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning, largely thanks to Harper's two-run home run - his second this season. The two teams then traded runs and the Govs led 4-1 after three innings.
Michigan State (4-5) mounted its charge in the fifth inning, sending 12 men to the plate and scoring six runs - the largest single-inning output for either team in the series. APSU starter Zach Hall faced five batters and surrendered a two-run single to Spartans first baseman Ryan Krill that tied the game, 7-7. Hall would record the first out before departing.
Austin Peay reliever Kacy Kemmer could not stem the Michigan State run, despite inducing a fielder's choice to get the second out from the first batter he faced. He would allow the next four batters he faced to reach base safely. Third baseman Justin Hovis gave MSU the lead with a RBI single and center fielder Anthony Cheky followed with a two-run double as Michigan State built a 7-4 lead and forced Kemmer from the mound. Reliever Tommy Hager came aboard and loaded the bases with a walk before inducing an inning-ending fielder's choice.
Hager would stay on board and toss scoreless innings in both the sixth and seventh frames to allow Austin Peay an opportunity for the comeback. The Govs turned to closer Tyler Rogers to record the final six outs - his longest outing this season - as their bullpen was depleted from the series' first two games.
After an uneventful eighth inning, Rogers ran into trouble in the top of the ninth, issuing a pair of walks and a single to load the bases with two out. He fell behind MSU's Richardson 2-0, but rallied with three consecutive called strikes to end the threat. It was Rogers' first victory this season after opening the campaign with five saves in his first six appearances.
Hudson led the Govs offense with a 2-for-4, four RBI performance. Harper finished the night 1-for-4 with three RBI. Hankins extended his hit streak to eight games with a 2-for-2, three walk outing. Massoni also had two hits in the win.
Alleman (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on two hits while striking out three over 2.1 innings. MSU starter Mick VanVossen held the Govs to four runs on seven hits and four walks over 5.2 innings.
Second baseman Kevin Goergen led Michigan State with a 3-for-4, two RBI night. Cheky added a 3-for-4 effort.
Austin Peay next faces Western Kentucky in a home-and-home midweek set. The Govs will play their second road game this season - a 3 p.m., Tuesday contest in Bowling Green, Ky. The teams then will play a 3 p.m., Wednesday contest in Clarksville. However, inclement weather is in the forecast and the schedule is subject to change. Fans should visit LetsGoPeay.com or follow Austin Peay baseball on Twitter @APSUBaseball for any schedule changes.