KNOXVILLE - Austin Peay State University put together one of its season's best all-round efforts to post an 8-4 victory against Tennessee, Tuesday night at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.
Tennessee (22-19) responded in its half of the first, third baseman Chris Pierce driving a two-run home run to left. The Volunteers tied the game in the second with second baseman Will Maddox's run-scoring fielder's choice.
From there, the Governors pitching staff and its defense combined to stymie the Volunteers offense over the next six innings. Reliever Kacy Kemmer began the scoreless stretch with 2.2 innings where he allowed just two hits. Chuck Edlin and Andy Cox then combined for scoreless innings in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Austin Peay took advantage of a pair of Tennessee errors in the seventh and eighth innings to take the lead for good. Shortstop Reed Harper's seventh-inning RBI single followed an error. The Govs scored another run in the eighth when Clinard's infield hit was misplayed and Blanchard scored from second when UT lost track of the ball, giving APSU a 5-3 lead.
Austin Peay's defense helped out with an errorless outing and turned four double plays — all in the latter innings. Right fielder Rolando Gautier ended the fifth when he caught a fly ball and threw home to catcher P.J. Torres who applied the tag for the out. Third baseman Greg Bachman ended the seventh when he turned a line drive into a double play.
Torres had a hand in a critical double play in the eighth that helped stop a potential Tennessee rally. After the first two batters reached, Torres caught a third strike and threw behind the runner at second, Harper applying the tag to wipe out the lead runner. Reliever Mike Hebert induced an inning ending double play to secure the APSU lead.
The Govs tacked on three runs in the ninth as Harper, Bachman and Hudson each singled to start the inning. Hudson's single scored the first run and, after a Torres sacrifice hit, Childress doubled into the left field corner, scoring two more runs and giving APSU an 8-2 lead.
The Govs fourth double play came after Tennessee scored a run in the ninth and had two runners on base with one out in the ninth. Closer Tyler Rogers fourth pitch was grounded to Harper at shortstop who started a conventional double play to end the game.
Cox (2-1) was credited with the win after tossing 1.2 scoreless innings while surrendering one hit. Rogers secured his season's eighth save.
Clinard finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a home run and two walks. Harper and Hudson each had three hits as the Govs rapped out 15 hits.
Dalton Saberhagen (4-1) suffered his season's first loss after he allowed one unearned run in the seventh. The Tennessee offense was held six hits, no player recording more than one hit.
Austin Peay returns to action when it travels to Western Kentucky for a 6 p.m., Wednesday contest.