JACKSON, Tenn. – Austin Peay's baseball team claimed the 2011 OVC Baseball Championship with a 7-3 victory against Jacksonville State, Saturday afternoon, at Pringles Park.
Austin Peay (33-22) got another strong effort from its pitching staff, backed by a stalwart defensive effort, with starter Zach Toney and reliever Mike Hebert combining to limit the Gamecocks to three runs on nine hits. Toney (6-2) went the opening 6.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out four for the win. Hebert notched his season's second save with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.
The Govs offense also picked up its effort in the championship game, recording 11 hits. First baseman John Hogan finished the day 2-for-4 with three RBI, including a two-run home run in the sixth inning that insured the victory. Right fielder Rolando Gautier and center fielder Michael Blanchard each added two hits.
Six Governors were named to the all-tournament squad: Hogan, Blanchard, designated hitter Cody Hudson, starter Jeremy Dobbs, starter Jack Snodgrass and reliever Ryne Harper. Snodgrass was named the tournament's "Most Valuable Player" after his career-best 11-strikeout performance in Friday's contest.
It was Austin Peay's fourth OVC tournament championship, all coming under Gary McClure, who earlier this season claimed his 700th victory.
Austin Peay now awaits word on its destination in the upcoming NCAA Baseball Championship. The entire field of 64 teams will be revealed at 11:30 p.m. (CT), Monday, on ESPN.