CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Another quality start from starting pitcher Ryan Quick and a five-run third inning proved enough for Austin Peay State Univeristy's baseball team to post an Ohio Valley Conference opening 8-5 victory against Southeast Missouri, Friday, at Capaha Field.
Quick (2-0) didn't have his best stuff on display in the OVC opener but worked some magic in both the first and second innings to surrender only one run while stranding three runners in scoring position.
In the first, He faced runners on second and third with two out in the first, but induced an inning-ending fly ball to end the threat.
In the second, he surrendered the game's first run quickly, allowing a leadoff walk before left fielder Derek Gibson laced a ball into the outfield to score the run. Quick then surrendered a single to put men on the corners with no outs.
Austin Peay (12-10) got a fortuitous bounce to stifle the threat when third baseman Greg Bachman saw catcher Shane Blair's infield hit glance off his glove and into foul territory. Gibson, standing at third, saw the misplay and attempted to score but Bachman recovered, threw a strike home which catcher P.J. Torres caught and applied the tag. Quick then got an infield fly and a fielder's choice to end the inning.
"I felt fortunate to get out of the first two innings," said Quick. "They had a lot of guys got on base. "I made good pitches but they were hitting them and I had to work out of jams. I wasn't concerned I knew I had to stay calm and try to work out of it with the least amount of damage possible"
"Ryan got himself into some trouble in the first but was able to get out of it," said McClure. "In the second they got a run without an out and had some things going and he did a great job finagling out of that predicament. I look back at that and believe that was the ball game. They could have scored four or five runs in that inning and Quick did a great job minimizing the damage."
The Govs offense saw its first seven batters go down without a ball leaving the infield. However, right fielder Dylan Riner walked with one out in the third and the Govs next two hitters reached to load the bases.
Left fielder Cody Hudson forced home the tying run with his walk. Bachman quickly untied the game with a single to left field, scoring two runs. Second baseman Jordan Hankins and shortstop Reed Harper each had RBI hits to give APSU a 5-1 lead.
The rare show of run support seemed to bolster Quick as he settled down in the bottom of the third and proceeded to retire the next nine batters he faced. The Govs then added to their lead in the sixth courtesy catcher P.J. Torres' two-run home run. Southeast Missouri finally broke Quick's spell with third baseman Trenton Moses' leadoff home run in the bottom of the inning.
The Govs turned to their bullpen after Quick walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh. However, reliever Mike Hebert faced just two batters - giving up a RBI double to pinch hitter Ryan Barnes and an RBI single to shortstop Kenton Parmley - before making way for closer Tyler Rogers.
Rogers loaded the bases and surrendered a run on designated hitter Kody Campbell's ground out, but closed the inning with a strikeout. After facing only three batters in the eighth, Rogers got into trouble with two outs in the ninth.
The trouble began after Rogers induced a double play to remove a leadoff single he surrendered. He then his Moses and gave up a bloop single to center field. Campbell then loaded the bases on an infield hit that traveled no more than 20 feet towards third base. McClure visited the mound to settle the closer and it worked as Rogers struck out centerfielder Cole Bieser to end the game.
Quick (2-0) notched his season's second win after holding Southeast Missouri to three runs on six hits and four walks over six-plus innings. Rogers recorded his season's fourth save after tossing three scoreless innings and striking out four.
Bachman led the Govs offense with a 2-for-4, three RBI effort. Hankins, Harper, Torres and Blanchard each had two hits to pace the Govs 11-hit attack.
Southeast Missouri starter Christian Hull (2-3) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs on seven hits over six innings. Parmley and first baseman Andy Lennington each had three hits as the Redhawks posted 13 hits against the Govs.
Austin Peay and Southeast Missouri will continue their three-game series with a 1 p.m., Saturday contest. The Govs will hand the ball to left-hander Zach Toney (1-2, 5.02 ERA). Southeast Missouri will counter with right-handed Shae Simmons (0-3, 5.32 ERA).