CLARKSVILLE - Austin Peay State University's baseball team used a combination of offensive power and pitching prowess to win both ends of an Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader - 17-5 in Game 1 before winning the nightcap, 7-1 - against Morehead State, Saturday at Raymond C. Hand Park.
In the day's first game, Austin Peay (32-19, 17-6 OVC) starter Casey Delgado surrendered two first-inning runs, but the offense immediately countered with the game's next five runs. Second baseman Jordan Hankins had a two-run single to tie the game in the first. Shortstop Reed Harper followed with an RBI single then added a two-run single in the second to put the Govs up 5-2.
Delgado (6-4) surrendered one more run in the third but did not surrender another run in his seven-inning outing. He picked up his team-leading sixth win by holding the Eagles to three runs on four hits and five walks over seven innings.
Austin Peay broke the game open with three runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and then seven in the eighth. Designated hitter Jon Clinard had a two-run double in the sixth before first baseman Tyler Childress added a two-run home run in the seventh. The Govs batted around in their seven-run eighth, Clinard posting another two-run double to cap the outburst.
The first five hitters in the Govs order posted 16 of the team's 18 hits in the contest. Clinard finished the day 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI. Center fielder Michael Blanchard also had four hits.
Morehead state starter Noah Smallwood suffered the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits through six innings. Right fielder Luke Bainer's two-run home run in the first gave Morehead State its first - albeit brief - lead of the series and he finished the opener 1-for-4 with two RBI.
The second game opened as a pitcher's duel for two innings, but Austin Peay used a sacrifice fly from Harper followed by third baseman Greg Bachman's three-run home run to take a 4-0 lead after three innings.
The Govs tacked on two more runs in the fourth and added a run in the eighth to build a 7-0 lead. Blanchard's bases-loaded walk and Clinard's sacrifice fly accounted for the fourth's scoring. Bachman brought home the game's seventh run with a single in the eighth.
Morehead State (25-24, 10-14 OVC) broke up the Govs shutout bid on third baseman Andrew Deeds RBI single in the ninth off APSU closer Tyler Rogers.
Austin Peay starter Andy Cox (4-1), pitching on three day's rest after a Tuesday start against Lipscomb, held Morehead State scoreless through six innings, allowing three hits and striking out six. It was the second win of the week for the senior right-hander who held the Bisons to one run and five hits in his earlier start.
Bachman led the Govs with a 2-for-4, four RBI performance in the second game. Hankins and left fielder Cody Hudson each had two hits as Austin Peay posted 10 hits in the win.
Eagles starter Matt Robertson (1-4) suffered the Game 2 loss after allowing six runs on four hits and four walks over three-plus innings. Deeds finished the game 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Austin Peay returns to action when it travels to Belmont for a 6 p.m., Tuesday contest. The Govs then close out the regular-season portion of their schedule when they travel to Tennessee Tech for a three-game OVC series, beginning with a 6 p.m. Thursday contest.
NOTES: Clinard became the 13th Govs hitter to record 200 career hits with his third-inning single in Game 2... Bachman's three-run home run in the third inning of Game 2 was his 30th career home run, he also finished the day with 247 career hits moving into 2nd all-time in that category... Clinard and Bachman were among 11 Governors seniors recognized prior to the start of Game 2... Austin Peay's series sweep of Morehead State was their third in OVC action this season - they opened OVC play with series sweeps at Southeast Missouri and against UT Martin... the Govs finish the day with a one-game lead over Eastern Kentucky for the league lead - Eastern Kentucky concludes its OVC series with Tennessee Tech, Sunday.