JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Center fielder Michael Blanchard's infield single spurred a five-run ninth inning as Austin Peay State University's baseball team rallied to score a 7-2 come-from-behind, Ohio Valley Conference victory against Jacksonville State, Sunday, at Rudy Abbott Field.
Austin Peay (17-18, 7-4 OVC) tied the game, 2-2, in the eighth courtesy of first baseman John Hogan's single to bring home outfielder Jon Clinard. At the time it was just the Govs' sixth hit of the contest.
However, it was a harbinger of things to come as the Govs rapped out five runs on five hits in the ninth inning against Gamecocks closer Todd Hornsby, who entered the game as the OVC's saves leader. Second baseman Jordan Hankins initiated the rally with a one-out single. Shortstop Reed Harper followed with a double that moved the runner to third. Jacksonville State responded by intentionally walking designated hitter Cody Hudson to load the bases with one out.
Outfielder Michael Blanchard made the Gamecocks pay, hitting a high chopper off home plate that allowed the runner to score. Blanchard beat out the throw at first but the ball got by the first baseman, allowing Harper to scamper home, giving APSU a 4-2 lead.
But the Govs weren't finished. Clinard followed Blanchard with an infield single to drive home Hudson with the inning's third run. Bachman added an RBI single and first baseman John Hogan added a sacrifice fly to push the Govs lead to 7-2.
Closer Ryne Harper (1-1), who came on in the eighth to record the final out, finished the game with a flyout and back-to-back strikeouts to record the victory.
The late-inning effort was counter to the game's first seven innings which were a pitcher's duel between the OVC's top two pitching staffs. Austin Peay starter Zach Toney allowed two runs on eight hits over 6.1 innings. He was matched by Jacksonville State starter Jordan Beistline who allowed one run over 5.2 innings.
Hornsby (3-3) was tagged for the loss after allowing five runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning.
Austin Peay finished the game with 11 hits, Hogan posting a team-leading 3-for-4, two RBI effort. Clinard and Bachman each added two hits and an RBI.
Second baseman Blake Seguin led Jacksonville State's 10-hit effort with a 3-for-3 performance.
Austin Peay returns to action with a 6 p.m., Tuesday non-conference tilt against Lipscomb at Raymond C. Hand Park.