CLARKSVILLE – Senior closer Tyler Rogers broke the Ohio Valley Conference’s single-season saves mark with two stops as Austin Peay State University took both ends of a doubleheader, 3-1 and 3-2, from Evansville, Wednesday, at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Rogers was called on to record the final four outs in the opener. He would allow a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced but induced a fielder’s choice to end the sixth. In the seventh, Rogers struck out the leadoff hitter then got a pair of ground outs to end the game.
The nightcap was a little more exciting as he began the seventh with a 3-1 lead. After striking out the leadoff hitter, he surrendered a single then a stolen base and the runner reached third on a passed ball. Rogers would strike out the next batter and induced what appeared to be the game-ending ground out, but the Govs third baseman threw high to first, allowing a run to score and extending the inning. A two-out single pushed the runner to third but Rogers got a strikeout to end the game, securing the win.
Rogers finished the night with 16 saves in 2013, eclipsing the 15-save mark set by Jacksonville State’s Todd Hornsby last season. Rogers, who has 28 career saves, now takes aim at the OVC career saves mark also held by Hornsby who recorded 32 saves.
Austin Peay (30-12) grabbed early leads in both contests. In the opener, first baseman Craig Massoni’s two-run home run in the first provided the early cushion. Left fielder Cody Hudson added a RBI single in the third to give APSU a 3-0 lead.
Game 1 starter Ryan Quick (4-2) made that lead hold up with five scoreless innings where he allowed only one runner to reach scoring position. He would allow a walk and a single with one out in the sixth before departing – one of those runs scoring. Quick finished with five strike outs while scattering three hits over 5.2 innings for the win.
The nightcap got a jumpstart when catcher Matt Wollenzin tripled into the right field corner in the third inning. Right fielder Tommy Hager quickly capitalized with a single to score the go-ahead run. Second baseman Jordan Hankins added a leadoff home run in the fifth. Shortstop Reed Harper would add the third run on a sacrifice fly that scored Hankins who reached on an error to start the inning.
Junior Kacy Kemmer (3-0) started Game 2 – his first start since April 14 – and he threw two scoreless innings to pick up the win on a designated staff outing. The Govs used six pitchers in the contest.
Austin Peay recorded just 11 hits in the doubleheader’s 14 innings. Hager was the only Govs batter to record a hit in each game, finishing the day 2-for-6 with a RBI. Hudson had three hits in the first game to lead Austin Peay on the day. Wollenzin had a team-best two hits in the second game.
Evansville starters Cole Isom (2-5) and Ryan Billo (1-4) were tagged for the losses in Game 1 and 2, respectively. Isom allowed three runs and struck out seven but walked five and allowed five hits in his complete game effort. Billo, who suffered his first lost against Austin Peay in four starts, allowed two runs on six hits over 4.2 innings.
NOTE: The teams played two seven-inning contests in the doubleheader… Evansville was the designated home team for Game 2, which was the makeup date for an April 16 contest in Evansville that was postponed.