ATLANTA - Austin Peay State University's baseball team scored twice in the ninth inning to down Georgia State, 5-3, Saturday afternoon at GSU Baseball Complex.
Austin Peay (4-3) took advantage of two Georgia State errors in the ninth inning. The first allowed leadoff hitter P.J. Torres to reach base and scamper to second base. First baseman Matt Wollenzin successfully sacrificed the pinch runner to third. Pinch hitter Dylan Riner stepped in and laced a single through the infield, scoring the run and giving APSU the lead, 4-3. Designated hitter Jon Clinard added another run on a single up the middle, giving APSU the 5-3 advantage.
Georgia State (5-3) threatened in the ninth, sending five men to the plate against Austin Peay closer Tyler Rogers. A Governors error - their only miscue in the contest - allowed a runner to reach scoring position with one out. Rogers handcuffed Mark Hogan, the Panthers nine-hole hitter, who was able to beat the play at first, but did not score the run. Rogers followed that with a strikeout looking and a groundout back to the mound to end the threat and seal the win.
Austin Peay jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first five innings. Third baseman Greg Bachman's solo home run in the second got APSU up early. In the fourth, second baseman Jordan Hankins added his season's first home run - a solo shot - and the lead was 2-0. The Govs pushed the lead to 3-0 with Clinard's RBI single in the fifth.
Govs starter Ryan Quick held Georgia State at bay through four innings. The Panthers finally broke through in the fifth with two outs as Quick surrendered a single to Hogan followed by a walk and then third baseman Drew Shields RBI single. Quick would get out of the jam and retired the side in order in the sixth to maintain the Govs 3-1 advantage.
However, Quick was chased after allowing a leadoff walk in the seventh. Brock Boyher was the first man out of the Govs bullpen but he could not quell the Panthers charge, surrendering a hit batsman and a walk to load the bases before he departed. Reliever Mike Hebert came on and induced a ground ball but the Govs could not turn two on the play and a run scored. Hebert then uncorked a wild pitch to allow the game-tying run to score.
Hebert settled down after the wild pitch, striking out the following two hitters to end the inning. He then retired the side in order in the eighth, striking out two, to set up the ninth inning.
Hebert (1-0) picked up the win in relief, not allowing a run in two innings while striking out four. Rogers notched his season's third save with the scoreless ninth despite surrendering a walk and a hit while striking out one. Quick was left with no decision for the second straight outing, allowing two runs on four hits over six-plus innings.
Clinard led the Govs offense with a 2-for-5, two RBI outing. Austin Peay recorded eight hits in the contest.
Georgia State reliever Jerry Stuckey (0-1) was the hard-luck loser, allowing two unearned runs on four hits over 3.2 innings. GSU starter Ben Marshall allowed three runs on four hits but struck out six Govs hitters over his five innings.
Austin Peay and Georgia State conclude their three-game series with a noon (CT), Sunday contest.