COLUMBUS, Ohio - Following his team's Friday loss Austin Peay State University head baseball coach Gary McClure emphasized the need for his team to do the little things if they wanted to win. The Govs did all the little things right in a five-run 10th inning that catapulted them to a 7-2 victory against Ohio State, Saturday afternoon at Bill Davis Stadium.
Austin Peay (10-8) started the 10th with a fortuitous bounce as left fielder Cody Hudson's single up the middle bounced off the pitcher's shoes, allowing him to reach safely. He moved into scoring position quickly, stealing second base. Designated hitter Jon Clinard followed with a single to shallow left field - his first hit of the contest - to put the Govs ahead, 3-2.
The Govs were just getting started as seven more batters came to the plate in the inning. Shortstop Reed Harper and catcher P.J. Torres each had RBI singles. Right fielder Rolando Gautier batted in a run with a fielder's choice that led to the Govs seventh run when OSU committed an error.
That rally seemed to suck the air out of Ohio State's (9-7) sails as they mustered just one hit in the 11th. It was the capstone of reliever Mike Hebert's (3-0) winning outing that lasted 2.2 scoreless innings.
The early part of the game was a pitcher's duel between APSU starter Zach Toney and OSU starter Brian King. Both pitchers threw four scoreless innings, each facing just two more batters than the minimum at that point.
However, each team scored in the fourth inning. Austin Peay plated its run after Gautier doubled with one out and scored on Hudson's two-out single. Ohio State leveled the score with first baseman Brad Hutton's leadoff home run in the bottom of the frame.
Ohio State took the lead in the fifth with a two-out rally that saw Toney allow three consecutive batters to reach safely, including third baseman Brad Hallberg's RBI single. Toney would halt the rally with an inning-ending fly out, stranding two men on base.
Austin Peay used an Ohio State error to equalize the score again in the seventh inning. Harper started the rally with a double that snapped a streak of 19 at-bats without a hit. He was then nearly caught stealing at third, but Hallberg dropped the ball which allowed the rally to continue. With two out, pinch hitter Matt Wollenzin came through with an infield hit that shortstop Kirby Pellant could not corral, allowing Harper to score.
Toney, who suffered through his worst career start one week ago, was stellar in Saturday's outing. He allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out eight batters over 7.1 innings.
King matched Toney's outing, allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five over 6.2 innings. Reliever Greg Greve (0-2) was tagged for the loss after allowing four runs at the end of an outing that lasted 2.1 innings.
Austin Peay's offense rapped out 10 hits, led by two hit outings by Harper, Gautier and Hudson. Six different Govs were credited with a RBI.
Ohio State finished with seven hits off Toney and Hebert, Hallberg recording their only multi-hit outing, finishing 2-for-5.
Austin Peay and Ohio State complete their three-game series with a 12:05 p.m. (CDT) Sunday contest. The Govs will turn to senior right-hander Lucas Anderson (2-0, 2.70 ERA) while the Buckeyes will start junior right-hander Brett McKinney (2-2, 5.32 ERA).