CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Austin Peay State University's baseball team completed a three-game Ohio Valley Conference sweep of Southeast Missouri, winning a see-saw 11-7 contest, Sunday afternoon at Capaha Field.
It is the first time in the 20-year series history that Austin Peay posted a three-game sweep against Southeast Missouri. The sweep was made more important as no other OVC squad completed a sweep, giving APSU a one-game conference lead after the opening weekend.
The Govs trailed 7-5 after five innings of Sunday's finale which were a see-saw affair with three lead changes and two ties. Southeast Missouri (7-18, 0-3 OVC) obtained a 7-5 advantage in the fifth on first baseman Kody Campbell's two-run home run.
Shortstop Reed Harper sparked the Govs go-ahead rally in the seventh, leading off the frame with his season's second home run. Catcher P.J. Torres followed the home run with a double and Austin Peay eventually loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks. Designated hitter Jon Clinard broke the tie with a fielder's choice, scoring Torres and giving APSU an 8-7 lead.
"Reed's home run is huge we were down one and his home run ties it up right away," said Governors head coach Gary McClure. "All of a sudden we know we're back in the game to win it. Then our guys did a great job of getting pitches to hit and taking walks. I can't say enough about the patience they showed at the plate this weekend."
Austin Peay (14-10, 3-0 OVC) extended its lead in the eighth thanks to a Southeast Missouri error. The Govs had the bases loaded with two out when right fielder Dylan Riner chopped a ball into the ground towards third base. Redhawks third baseman Trenton Moses fielded the ball but his throw went wide of first base, allowing two runs to score. Austin Peay added an insurance run on centerfielder Michael Blanchard's bunt single, staking APSU closer Tyler Rogers to an 11-7 advantage.
Rogers, who entered in the eighth, nearly used all of that cushion promptly retired the first two batters via strike outs but then put the next three on base with a walk and back-to-back hit batsmen. That brought Moses, the OVC's leader in batting average, home runs and RBI, to the plate. Moses railed a liner towards the left center gap, but Blanchard made the catch outstretched and on the run to end the game.
Reliever Zane Leffew (1-1) picked up the win after throwing scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh, striking out three batters and allowing four hits. Rogers wrapped up the win with two scoreless innings, striking out two.
Bachman led the Govs with a 2-for-3, two RBI effort. Clinard, Harper and second baseman Jordan Hankins each had two hits. Austin Peay's offense needed just 12 hits in the win as Southeast Missouri pitchers walked nine batters.
"We were left in a position where we had to come back two or three different times and that's tough to do," said McClure. "I'm really proud of our guys the way they came back. Once we did take the lead in the sixth our pitchers and defense did an outstanding job of taking the game over. I thought the big turning point was when we brought Leffew and he shut them down for two innings."
Trevor Kill (1-1) allowed three runs in his inning-plus of work and suffered the loss. Right fielder Andy Lennington posted a 4-for-5 effort to lead Southeast Missouri's 12-hit offensive outing.
Austin Peay begins a five-game homestand when it hosts Alabama A&M in a 6 p.m., Tuesday contest at Raymond C. Hand Park.