CLARKSVILLE – Catcher P.J. Torres’ lifted his second home run of the game over the wall in left center giving Austin Peay State University’s baseball team a 9-8 walk-off victory in 10 innings against Morehead State, Friday night, in Ohio Valley Conference action at Raymond C. Hand Park.
Trailing 8-5 after the top of the eighth, Austin Peay (33-13, 14-7 OVC) turned to the long ball to erase the deficit. Torres’ first home run cut the deficit to 8-6 in the seventh. In the ninth, Morehead State walked junior second baseman Jordan Hankins for the third time. First baseman Craig Massoni finally made the Eagles pay for that free pass, with a two-run home run that just cleared the wall in left, tying the game and setting up Torres’ extra-inning heroics.
The game was a see-saw affair through the opening six innings, the Govs would score in the bottom of the inning only to see Morehead State rally to tie or cut the deficit in the top of the next frame. The Govs built a 5-3 lead courtesy a two-run fifth inning – one run scoring on a passed ball and the second on left fielder Cody Hudson’s sacrifice fly.
Morehead State (15-32, 9-13 OVC) would score the game’s next five runs. Right fielder Brandon Rawe’s two-run home run in the seventh gave the Eagles their first lead, 7-5. Third baseman Kane Sweeney would tack on a run in the eighth with a solo home run. However, it would not be enough to hold off the Govs late run.
Combined, Austin Peay and Morehead State combined for seven home runs, the Govs edging the Eagles by a 4-3 margin. Hudson added a solo home run in the fourth along with Massoni’s and Torres’ blasts. Sweeney, Rawe and shortstop Chase Greenwell each homered for the Eagles.
Austin Peay closer Tyler Rogers (7-2) appeared in his ninth consecutive game and earned the win with a scoreless 10th inning. Starter Casey Delgado allowed six runs on 12 hits over six innings but did not factor into the decision.
Morehead State reliever Matt Duncan (1-4) suffered the loss after allowing three runs over the final 1.1 innings. Eagles starter Blake Smith surrendered five runs on six hits and five walks over 4.2 innings.
Torres led the Govs 13-hit effort with a 4-for-5, two RBI and he posted the Govs first multi-home run outing this season. Massoni, Hudson, center fielder Dylan Riner and right fielder Rolando Gautier each had two hits.
Sweeney led Morehead State’s 16-hit outing with a 4-for-5 effort. Greenwell added a 3-for-6 outing and three other batters finished with two hits each.
Austin Peay and Morehead State are scheduled to resume their three-game OVC series with a 2 p.m., Saturday contest. However, inclement weather is forecast for the Clarksville area. Fans should visit LetsGoPeay.com for the latest schedule information.