LEXINGTON, Ky. – A couple of defensive miscues again cost Austin Peay State University’s baseball team as it dropped a 6-3 decision to nationally-ranked Kentucky, Tuesday night, at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
Austin Peay (25-8) battled No. 13 Kentucky (23-9) to a scoreless draw through three innings. APSU starter Zach Hall ran into trouble only once in the opening stanza when Kentucky loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but got a groundout to end the threat.
Kentucky would not let a second scoring opportunity pass it by, as leadoff hitter A.J. Reed reached base in the fourth. Second baseman J.T. Riddle walked to put two men on before Hall struck out the next batter to get the second out. Shortstop Matt Reida came through with a single through the infield to score the game’s first run. Designated hitter Zach Storm followed and hit a pop up that eluded Hall, who was charged with an error on the play, in the infield and allowed a second run to score.
The Wildcats added a third run on a delayed double steal attempt in the third as the Govs could not make the throw home to record the inning’s third out and had to settle for an out at first after the run scored.
Austin Peay broke through in the sixth, third baseman Kevin Corey leading off the frame with a single and center fielder Dylan Riner following with a walk. The Govs moved the runners with a sacrifice and second baseman Jordan Hankins drove in a run with a groundout. However, APSU could not bring home the second run and trailed 3-1.
The Govs defense betrayed them in the sixth with an error costing APSU three runs. Kentucky got a single followed by a walk with one out. Austin Peay brought in reliever Kacy Kemmer to hold the line. Kemmer appeared to do the job with one pitch, inducing a ground ball to shortstop Reed Harper for a possible double play. However, the ball eluded Harper allowing a run to score. Kentucky right fielder Kyle Barrett added to the damage with a two-run triple, putting the Wildcats ahead 6-1.
Austin Peay would continue to battle and manufactured a pair of runs in the eighth. Catcher P.J. Torres led off the inning with a double and Corey singled to put runners at the corners with no outs. Kentucky turned to reliever Walter Wijas who balked in a run before surrendering a pair of ground outs that pushed across the Govs final run.
Hall (3-2) suffered the loss despite allowing only three runs on six hits over five innings.
Corey led the Govs offense with a 2-for-3, two run scored outing. Harper had the Govs other multi-hit outing, finishing 2-for-4. Hudson and Hankins were credited with a RBI each.
Kentucky starter Kyle Cody (3-1) allowed one run on four hits over 5.1 innings for the victory.
Barrett led Kentucky with a 2-for-5, two RBI effort. Designated hitter Kyle Storm added a 2-for-4 effort.
Austin Peay, which is amidst its first three-game losing streak this season, continues its six-game road trip with a 3 p.m., Wednesday contest at Southern Illinois.